In order to not grant access to apps from accessing your device’s installed app inventory, Google has made new changes to its developer’s policy. As per the Google latest policy update, Google play will restrict the use of high risk or sensitive permissions to access the inventory of installed apps on a given device. This move can be seen as the company’s major step in strengthening and preventing the user’s sensitive data from being stolen and make it difficult for apps to sneak into the device and restrict it from being stolen.
Google recently announced its Developer Program Policy changes that will come into effect on May 5, 2021. According to the tech giant, the Play Store observes the device list of installed apps queried from a user’s device as private and sensitive data, and the grant is only provided when your app’s core user-facing functionality or purpose, needs wide perceptibility toward installed apps on the user’s device.
The company says that if the app meets the policy requirements then they will be required to declare this and any other high-risk permissions using the Declaration Form in Play Console. Whereas those who fail or do not submit a Declaration Form shall be removed from Google Play.
“If you change how your app uses these restricted permissions, you must revise your declaration with updated and accurate information. Deceptive and non-declared uses of these permissions may result in a suspension of your app and/or termination of your developer account,” the company stressed.
Furthermore, the inventory access permission only takes effect when your app targets Android API level 30 or later on devices running Android 11 or later.
In order to use that inventory access permission, the app must come within permitted uses below and have a core purpose to search for all apps on the device. Also, it should sufficiently justify why a less interfering way of app visibility will not adequately allow your app’s policy-compliant user-facing core functionality.
Google further clarified, “Core functionality is defined as the main purpose of the app. Without this core ability to search for all apps on the device, the app is “broken” or rendered unusable. The core functionality, as well as any core features that comprise this core functionality, must all be prominently documented and promoted in the app’s description.”
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