Google Play Store is going to bar apps that scan other apps without any valid reason

For Android, Play Store is the most important marketplace as it lets users download other apps; it is also the app that asks for the most permissions so privacy is always a concern with Play Store. This brings us to our topic as Play store has stopped giving permission to apps which want to scan other apps for privacy reasons.

Previously apps could check what applications are downloaded in an Android device by making use of the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission but now even that has been withdrawn for apps which don’t have a good reason to do so. Apps like backup tools or phone optimization apps still have that permission on the note that they will never abuse it. Last year Google said that whenever apps that violate the terms of the permission will be kicked out of the Play Store and now it has finally gone into effect.

Google has sent an email to developers who are using the permission and has asked them to just answer a few questions about what they use the permission for and that they need to fill out the relevant information in the Play Console.

The information needs to specify a few things like explaining why a feature of your app that is very essential to the workings of the app needs that permission. That has to be specified both in written form and in a short video demonstration as well. Apps failing to list that will be facing extermination from the play store. This feature will go into effect by June 1st 2022.

Before this, Android 10 and the earlier versions have given all sorts of permission without any check or any need of declaration from developers. The good news is that Android 11 which is still being rolled out will not be so straightforward with its permissions and will require all the things that the earlier versions don’t.

The original date for the change was May 5, 2021 and the removals were going to start in November, but taking the Covid-19 situation into consideration that date was pushed back into 2022. There were similar requirements made for accessibility services, and the developers who can explain why they need the permissions for their apps can stay on the store but there’s one more catch if Google’s staff does not check the submissions on time it can lead to disaster for the developer.

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