Google is, in fact, coming up with a host of advancements and new updates – specifically for the Play Store. The most important policy update has been in the field of the developers being able to see the apps that have been installed on your phone. As part of Google’s updated policy changes, the changes would be how QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission can be utilised.
What is QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission?
The QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission is actually provided to the app developers with an advanced ability to see all the packages installed on your phone. As of now, almost every app on Android 11 as of now can view the other apps that have been installed on your computer.
The QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission is specifically designed to provide you access to the controls that include providing a controlled access for and “controls access to the inventory of installed apps on a device.” The service is currently providing you access to every app to get access to the complete permission.
What changes are expected in Google Developer Policy?
Through the blog post on its support page, Google claimed that
As per this policy change, an app will be able to use the permission only if it meets a few specific conditions or prerequisites. In all other cases, the app should remove the functionality from its manifest. Google has given a timeframe of 60 days for the app developers to comply with the requirements.
Which use cases and apps will be permitted to use QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission?
As per the Google documentation and information thereof, the only option supported for use of the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES can include
The apps apart from the ones specified above that can be permitted to use the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES can include
Apps that have a verifiable core purpose involving financial transaction functionality (e.g. dedicated banking, dedicated digital wallet) may obtain broad visibility into installed apps solely for security based purposes.
The use cases where the permission to see the app information will NOT be permitted can include –
- Where use of the permission is not directly related to the core purpose of the app.
- This includes Peer-to-Peer (P2P) sharing. P2P must be the core purpose of the app in order to qualify as a permitted use.
- When the data is acquired for the purpose of sale.
- When the required task can be done with a less broad app visibility method.
The information above is taken from the official blog post from Google.
What changes will you expect?
The new policy change will come up into effect from May 5, 2021. The developers are expected to meet the requirements of the newly designed QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES, and sign a Declaration Form in the Play Console. Any other app that does not meet these requirements will have to comply with the changes, or else they will be removed from the Play Store.
This can be seen as an exceptional option for increasing the user privacy. The new change can make it hard for the apps to spy on what other apps have been installed on your computer. In fact, the option to access the app inventory on an Android device is used for the targeted advertisements. It may also be used for the malicious purposes.
The new changes would definitely be one of the excellent options for achieving an excellent option for a greater degree of performance enhancement. Once the new policy comes into the force, the Android users are set to get access to a far more advanced functionality.