closeup Google Android figure and smartphone with Google logo. Google Android is the operating system for smartphones, tablet computers and other devices. Moscow, Russia - March 17, 2019

I’m sure we’ve all done this before, you install an app for one-time use or a game you play for a week and then forget about it. However, you’ve granted this app all sorts of permissions upon installing it, and now it’s sitting there on your device this entire time keeping all of those same permissions whether you’re using it or not.

It’s a good thing that Google has decided to implement a feature for just such an occasion that will automatically revoke permissions from apps after a certain period of time. The main problem being, that it was restricted to phones running Android 11 or above, but what about all the millions of users running Android 10 and below.

Well, good news everyone, Google has decided to expand this feature to all phones running Android 6.0 and above with Google Play Services installed. This could potentially affect millions of devices worldwide and tighten up privacy on all of the devices not slated to get the Android 11 update. The rollout will begin starting in December 2021, and as a user, there isn’t anything you need to do except wait for it.

Once it begins rolling out all apps that target permissions API level 30 or above will start having those permissions revoked after the app goes unused for a few months. As a user, you may notice a notification from time to time when this happens.

Developers will have the option to add some code allowing you to opt-out of having the permissions revoked, and users will also be able to manually override the auto-reset as well. That can be handy for apps that tend to run in the background that you rarely open.

The rollout is expected to reach all devices by Q1 2022 so if you don’t get it immediately in December, you’ll just have to hang on as the feature gradually makes its way to devices.

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  1. This is the stupidest “feature” I’ve come across in ages. When I set up an app with all the permissions I want it to have, I don’t EVER want the system to change any of those settings.
    When I come back to the app (possibly months later) I want it to work as I intended and not require a complete review and reconfiguration to determine what the Android system screwed up

    To make it even worse, they set every application by default to be screwed up.

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