One of Google’s best privacy-focused features released last year is finally coming to more devices. Of course, we’re talking about the auto-reset for app permissions, where the Android operating system will restrict an app from accessing critical features like your microphone, storage, or cameras unless you give it permission first.
With Android 11, if you haven’t opened an app in several months, the operating system will automatically reset the app permissions, blocking it from accessing some of those risky things. It’s an excellent feature, but until now, it was only available on Android 11 devices.
Starting in December, Google will be adding the auto-reset app permissions mode to all devices running on Android 6 or higher, which essentially makes billions of devices more secure.
Runtime permissions (aka dangerous permissions), as Google explains, display prompts to request access to sensitive or private user data.
When this feature starts rolling out to older Android devices, it will be made available on all devices with Google Play services and running Android 6.0 (API level 23) up to and including Android 10 (API level 29).
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“The system will start to automatically reset the permissions of unused apps a few weeks after the feature launches on a device.”
Rolled out to all compatible devices until Q2 2022
While permission auto-reset will be enabled by default on Android 11 devices, users will be able to toggle it on manually on Android 6.0 or later.
The launch timeline starts with the auto-reset APIs (which were made available to developers in beta on September 15) being released as stable in October.
Gradual rollout across all devices powered by Google Play Services and running Android 6.0 or later will start in December 2021.
The rollout process will end in Q1 2022 when the feature is expected to reach all compatible Android devices.
In July, Google also started emailing Android users that they will no longer be able to log in to their Google accounts on devices running Android 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) and lower.
The Android OS now powers over 3 billion devices around the world as Google’s VP of product management Sameer Samat revealed at this year’s Google I/O annual developer conference.
Source: Android Developers Blog