Google puts limits on which apps can see what’s installed on an Android device

Google has launched a model new rule which will forestall most apps from seeing all the alternative apps in your Android phone or tablet. As XDA Builders has noticed, the tech large has updated its Developer Program Coverage to limit the kinds of apps that may request the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission, which returns the entire report of put in apps on a tool that runs Android 11 or later.

Based on the updated protection, Play “regards the gadget stock of put in apps queried from a consumer’s gadget as private and delicate data.” As such, Google will now solely grant QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission requests if the app’s core user-facing efficiency needs to have the power to uncover any and all put in apps. Examples embrace antivirus purposes, file managers, browsers and functions for gadget search. Builders, the updated protection says, “should be capable of sufficiently justify why a much less intrusive methodology of app visibility won’t sufficiently allow [their] app’s coverage compliant consumer going through core performance.”

The brand new protection could make it extra sturdy for unhealthy actors to spy in your gadget for nefarious capabilities or for advertisers to serve you targeted adverts. It stays to be seen whether or not or not it’s going to be merely as environment friendly as a result of the protection change Google carried out in 2018, which was moreover meant to clamp down on Android apps that abuse permissions. That particular protection substitute positioned a restriction on what can entry identify logs and SMS data. The tech large acknowledged ultimate yr that it was so environment friendly, it observed a 98 p.c drop throughout the number of Play Retailer functions accessing these data. 

Google’s protection change will take affect on Could fifth, 2021. 

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