Android automatically withdraws app rights – even on old smartphones

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We know it: downloaded some nonsense photo app, allowed access to the camera – and at some point simply forgot. Since version 11, Google’s Android smartphone operating system has automatically withdrawn such “forgotten” and no longer used apps from sensitive rights such as access to the device memory or the camera. The function is officially called “Permission Auto-Reset”.

The whole now wants to activate Google for older operating systems, as of Android 6.0 (API level 23), the function will automatically be available from December 2021 via the Google Play Services be played out without user interaction. For some time now, Google has been using updates of system and background services via Play Services more, for example to close security gaps on devices that are no longer supplied with system updates by the manufacturer.

According to Google, all devices should have received the update in the first quarter of 2022. Android 6 was released in October 2015 – so most smartphones still in use today should benefit from this function.

The whole thing works safely with apps that were developed for Android 11 (API level 30), with older apps the function must be activated manually in the settings. When an app is considered “not used for a long time”, the Android documentation doesn’t stand out, we’re just talking about “a few months”.

App developers have the option of asking users for an exemption to prevent the automatic rights reset – this makes sense, for example, for apps that primarily run in the background and are not started manually on a regular basis. There are also exceptions for Android smartphones that are administered by companies.

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