Making permissions auto-reset out there to billions extra gadgets

Posted by Peter Visontay, Software program Engineer; Bessie Jiang, Software program Engineer

Contributors: Inara Ramji, Software program Engineer; Rodrigo Farell, Interplay Designer; James Kelly, Product Supervisor; Henry Chin, Program Supervisor.

Illustration of person holding phone

Most customers spend a whole lot of time on their smartphones. Whether or not working, enjoying video games, or connecting with associates, folks typically use apps as the first gateway for his or her digital lives. As a way to work, apps typically must request sure permissions, however with dozens of apps on any given gadget, it may be powerful to maintain up with the permissions you’ve beforehand granted – particularly in case you haven’t used an app for an prolonged time period.

In Android 11, we launched the permission auto-reset feature. This characteristic helps shield person privateness by mechanically resetting an app’s runtime permissions – that are permissions that show a immediate to the person when requested – if the app isn’t used for a number of months. Beginning in December 2021, we’re increasing this to billions extra gadgets. This characteristic will mechanically be enabled on gadgets with Google Play services which are working Android 6.0 (API stage 23) or greater.

The characteristic will likely be enabled by default for apps focusing on Android 11 (API stage 30) or greater. Nevertheless, customers can allow permission auto-reset manually for apps focusing on API ranges 23 to 29.

So what does this imply for builders?


Some apps and permissions are mechanically exempted from revocation, like energetic Gadget Administrator apps utilized by enterprises, and permissions mounted by enterprise coverage.

Request person to disable auto-reset

If wanted, builders can ask the person to forestall the system from resetting their app’s permissions. That is helpful in conditions the place customers count on the app to work primarily within the background, even with out interacting with it. The primary use circumstances are listed here.

Evaluating present and new habits

Present habits New habits
Permissions are mechanically reset on Android 11 (API stage 30) and better gadgets. Permissions are mechanically reset on the next gadgets:

  • Gadgets with Google Play providers which are working a model between Android 6.0 (API stage 23) and Android 10 (API stage 29), inclusive.
  • All gadgets working Android 11 (API stage 30) and better gadgets.
Permissions are reset by default for apps focusing on Android 11 or later. The person can manually allow auto-reset for apps focusing on Android 6.0 (API stage 23) or later. No change from the present habits.
Apps can request the person to disable auto-reset for the app. No change from the present habits.

Needed code adjustments

If an app targets no less than API 30, and asks the person to disable permission auto-reset, then builders might want to make a number of easy code adjustments. If the app doesn’t disable auto-reset, then no code adjustments are required.

Word: this API is barely meant for apps whose targetSDK is API 30 or greater, as a result of permission auto-reset solely applies to those apps by default. Builders don’t want to alter something if the app‘s targetSDK is API 29 or decrease.

The desk under summarizes the brand new, cross-platform API (in comparison with the API printed in Android 11):

Motion Android 11 API
(works solely on Android 11 and later gadgets)
New, cross-platform API
(works on Android 6.0 and later gadgets, together with Android 11 and later gadgets)
Examine if permission auto-reset is enabled on the gadget Examine if Construct.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Construct.VERSION_CODES.R Name androidx.core.content material.PackageManagerCompat.getUnusedAppRestrictionsStatus()
Examine if auto-reset is disabled to your app Name PackageManager.
Name androidx.core.content material.
Request that the person disable auto-reset to your app Ship an intent with motion
Ship an intent created with androidx.core.content material.

This cross-platform API is a part of the Jetpack Core library, and will likely be out there in Jetpack Core v1.7.0. This API is now out there in beta.

Pattern logic for an app that wants the person to disable auto-reset:

val future: ListenableFuture<Int> =
  { onResult(future.get()) },

enjoyable onResult(appRestrictionsStatus: Int) {
  when (appRestrictionsStatus) {
    // Standing couldn't be fetched. Examine logs for particulars.
    ERROR -> { }

    // Restrictions don't apply to your app on this gadget.
    // Restrictions have been disabled by the person to your app.
    DISABLED -> { }

    // If the person does not begin your app for months, its permissions 
    // will likely be revoked and/or it is going to be hibernated. 
    // See the API_* constants for particulars.
    API_30_BACKPORT, API_30, API_31 -> 

enjoyable handleRestrictions(appRestrictionsStatus: Int) {
  // In case your app works primarily within the background, you may ask the person
  // to disable these restrictions. Examine when you have already requested the
  // person to disable these restrictions. If not, you may present a message to 
  // the person explaining why permission auto-reset and Hibernation ought to be 
  // disabled. Inform them that they'll now be redirected to a web page the place 
  // they'll disable these options.

  Intent intent = IntentCompat.createManageUnusedAppRestrictionsIntent
    (context, packageName)

  // Should use startActivityForResult(), not startActivity(), even when 
  // you do not use the end result code returned in onActivityResult().
  startActivityForResult(intent, REQUEST_CODE)

The above logic will work on Android 6.0 – Android 10 and likewise Android 11+ gadgets. It is sufficient to use simply the brand new APIs; you received’t must name the Android 11 auto-reset APIs anymore.

Compatibility with App Hibernation in Android 12

The brand new APIs are additionally appropriate with app hibernation introduced by Android 12 (API stage 31). Hibernation is a brand new restriction utilized to unused apps. This characteristic shouldn’t be out there on OS variations earlier than Android 12.

The getUnusedAppRestrictionsStatus() API will return API_31 if each permission auto-reset and app hibernation apply to an app.

Launch Timeline

  • September 15, 2021 – The cross-platform auto-reset APIs are actually in beta (Jetpack Core 1.7.0 beta library), so builders can begin utilizing these APIs at this time. Their use is secure even on gadgets that don’t help permission auto-reset (the API will return FEATURE_NOT_AVAILABLE on these gadgets).
  • October 2021 – The cross-platform auto-reset APIs turn out to be out there as steady APIs (Jetpack Core 1.7.0).
  • December 2021 – The permission auto-reset characteristic will start a gradual rollout throughout gadgets powered by Google Play Providers that run a model between Android 6.0 and Android 10. On these gadgets, customers can now go to the auto-reset settings web page and allow/disable auto-reset for particular apps. The system will begin to mechanically reset the permissions of unused apps a number of weeks after the characteristic launches on a tool.
  • Q1 2022 – The permission auto-reset characteristic will attain all gadgets working a model between Android 6.0 and Android 10.

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