Android’s Best New Security Feature Arrives on Older Smartphones

Justin Duino

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.

Android auto reset permissions
Google

An excellent example of this is some random photo editing app, or a chat app, which you permit to access your camera or microphone. But then, if you haven’t used it for several months, it still has access to those key parts of your device, which is a privacy risk. With the auto-reset feature, access gets stripped away when you stop using the app for prolonged periods.

According to Google, the feature “will automatically be enabled on devices with Google Play Services that are running Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher,” with devices on Android 6-10 getting it starting in December.

Once live, users will see a new auto-reset settings page to enable or disable the privacy feature on specific applications manually. That way, it won’t auto-reset on apps you know, use, and trust.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Based in Las Vegas, Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He’s a freelance writer for Review Geek covering roundups, apps, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and TechRadar, and he’s written over 6,000 articles. Read Full Bio »

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