This Android 11 privacy feature will expand to Marshmallow devices and higher

TL;DR

  • Google will soon expand Android 11’s permission auto-reset feature for apps to older devices.
  • This feature will be added to phones running Android 6.0 or higher starting in December.
  • It will finish its rollout to those devices by the first quarter of 2022.

Usually, if you own an older Android phone or tablet, updates to those phones end after a few years. However, Google has just announced it will add a nice security feature that it launched with Android 11 for any device with Google Play Services that runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above.

The security feature is the auto-reset for app permissions. If you haven’t used an app for a few months, Android 11 goes ahead and resets its permissions. When you decide to launch that app on your phone or tablet, it will then ask you to reenable those permissions again, such as location or access to your contacts or media. It offers an extra bit of privacy and security for any apps that might try to track you or use your phone, even if the app isn’t being actively used.

Related: Hands-on with Privacy Dashboard, one of Android 12’s best new features

Well, that nice feature will begin to roll out in December for phones that use Android 6.0 or above. While permission auto-reset is enabled by default on Android 11, users can set this feature up manually for all the older phones.

There will be some exceptions, such as apps that are run by remote administrators for enterprise customers. Also, developers can ask users if they wish to disable the auto-reset feature for their apps on older phones. Still, this is a nice surprise for people using phones that are much older, especially if you are using some of Google’s Nexus phones or tablets.

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