For Android updates, whoever says anything, do not matter as much as for iOS. Indeed, even after a smartphone stops receiving new versions of the OS, its support does not stop, because it still has free access to updates for most system services and applications. Thus, Google continues to maintain the relevance of devices even three and five years ago. Of course, such updates usually do not add new functions, but at least they allow users not to feel like the owners of outdated and non-renewable gadgets.
No more spy apps on Google Play
In Android 11, the first test build of which was released last night, there was a mechanism that limits the ability of applications to collect data about the location of the device in the background. This innovation is systemic and will operate regardless of how the loaded software is arranged. But since this limitation is very important from the point of view of ensuring the safety of users, Google decided that it would be introduced everywhere. The only way to do this is to change the Google Play security policy, forcing developers to get permission to activate background services from Google for geolocation services.
What will change on Google Play
Google will decide for itself whether the application needs background geolocation or not.
'A close examination of the current location function of most applications has shown that they usually do not need appropriate permission from the user to run in the background. The thing is that the system does not have a clear separation between access to the current geolocation in the background and in the active mode. We want to make life easier for users without forcing them to independently analyze whether the application needs background access to geolocation or not, ”explained Google.
It turns out that now developers, if they want their applications to be able to activate geolocation services in the background, will have to get approval not from users who most often do not pay any attention to the privileges being distributed, but from Google. As a result, it will be up to Google Play censors to decide whether a program is worthy to work with the user's current location in the background. They will independently check the functionality of the application and, based on it, either give it such an opportunity or block it.
Which applications will get access to geolocation in the background
When making a decision, censors will have to answer the following questions:
- Does the background geolocation feature provide value to the user?
- Do users expect the app to access their location in the background?
- Does the background location feature serve the main purpose of the application?
- Is it possible for the application to work stably without background access to the location?
As a result, apps that keep the user safe and communicate with emergency services are likely to gain the right to access the current location. The same applies to social networks, which use geolocation services to be able to share your location with friends. On the other hand, online store applications will most likely not get access to the background location determination, because there is simply no good reason to open such information to them.
The new Google Play security policy will take effect on August 3 for all new applications and November 2 for those that have already been placed in the catalog earlier. Starting from these dates, developers will have to submit special applications for the ability to determine the location of users in the background and, if the censors do not find sufficient grounds to satisfy the request, the corresponding tool will have to be abandoned. Otherwise, access to such programs on Google Play will be closed.