It is cracking down apps that can ‘see’ other installed apps.
As part of its ongoing stance on privacy and security, Google is now introducing a new change in its Android operating system that will limit apps from seeing what other apps are installed on your device.
Called ‘broad app visibility’ on Android 11, Google outlined the change on its Developer Blog and cited that an app can no longer query your Android device and see what apps are installed. This makes you wonder though, that all this time other apps could already see the apps installed on your device. Google states that data about other apps is considered sensitive information, which is why it is making this change.
That being said, specific apps will have broad app visibility privileges enabled – these include file managers, browsers, and anti-virus software. Developers would also be required by Google to properly justify the use of app broad visibility on their apps, and non-compliance would mean the removal of the app from the Google Play Store.
The new rules will start with apps made for Android 11 or later, but Google is making stricter changes by the time Android 12 releases later this year.