Google restricts Android apps from seeing other installed apps

jsilva

Posts: 51   +0
Staff
Recap: In Google's continuous effort to upgrade its privacy and security policies, the company is now limiting the use of broad app visibility to see which other apps are installed. Starting May 5, Google will only allow the apps that meet specific requirements to see which other apps are installed in a device.

In Google's announcement of the upcoming changes to the Developer Program Policy, the company stated only select apps will be allowed to use the "QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES" permission a.k.a. broad app visibility. Those apps must be targeting an API level 30 (Android 11) or more, and their proper functioning must be dictated by the awareness of other apps. In case an app can run with a more "targeted scoped package visibility declaration," developers should stop using the "QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES" permission.

Apps such as file managers, browsers, antivirus, and a few others that need broad app visibility to work properly will be allowed to use it, but only if the developer fills the Declaration Form in the Play Console.

Google is giving a 30-day grace period to all Android developers, allowing them to adapt to the new policies. If developers do not comply, they risk having their app removed by May 5.

According to Google Personal and Sensitive Information policy, the inventory of installed apps on a device is considered to be personal and sensitive data. This means that as per Google's guidelines, this information cannot be sold nor shared for analytics or ads monetization purposes.

The new Google policies are a step in the right direction to a more private and secure mobile environment. Maybe it will even help Android devices to reduce the amount of data they send to Google servers.

Image credit: Adrien

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,400   +3,484
"The new Google policies are a step in the right direction to a more private and secure mobile environment. Maybe it will even help Android devices to reduce the amount of data they send to Google servers."

You're a total id10t if you believe that. And much like how storage permissions for "muh security" screwed up our ability to move data around our phone, run emulators, and the like off of SD card, and the SAME "muh security" was used to implement that terrible new file sharing API that moves at a snails pace and hides downloads from various apps, this will somehow screw over app developers while providing no security whatsoever against google, the one I DONT want harvesting my data.

EDIT: really, ***** is censored? What is this, sunday school?
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 390   +675
Containers seem to be everywhere now: even coming to your mobile apps now it seems. Makes me think maybe I should go back at playing around with docker since we're getting close to good enough that even phones have enough resources to run a containers which will be the next logical step.

Container is a type of virtual machine by those who might not know, except you don't virtualize everything, just the environment for an app or small list of processes to run.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 131   +103
Android was launched in 2008, and it took Google over a decade to figure this out. Apart from this issue, every time I used a Android device, I am always amazed at the ridiculous access request required in order to use some apps. It almost feels like I am ceding all my personal data to the app developers in order to use some apps, and you wonder for example, why they need to access your contacts and such even though the app don't provide any services that will need these information.
 

Geralt

Posts: 187   +160
TechSpot Elite
"The new Google policies are a step in the right direction to a more private and secure mobile environment. Maybe it will even help Android devices to reduce the amount of data they send to Google servers."

You're a total id10t if you believe that. And much like how storage permissions for "muh security" screwed up our ability to move data around our phone, run emulators, and the like off of SD card, and the SAME "muh security" was used to implement that terrible new file sharing API that moves at a snails pace and hides downloads from various apps, this will somehow screw over app developers while providing no security whatsoever against google, the one I DONT want harvesting my data.

EDIT: really, ***** is censored? What is this, sunday school?
A little rude...
 

ron baer

Posts: 8   +3
A little rude...
as if he is wrong. Android use to be the only phone OS that I would recommend but if your any sort of power user anything past 2.3 is **** for usability of "the linux way" which is why Cryogen became its own OS and now there are 3 different companies that are aiming for that spot