Google prevents apps from knowing other installed apps
Google prevents apps from knowing other installed apps

Google will soon be more selective with apps from the Google Play Store to display all the other apps you have installed.

The installed app list can convey personal characteristics such as the political background of the developers. Effective May 5, 2021, developers must provide good reason to Google to access this information.

Android 11 apps that are currently requesting "QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES" permission can display the full list of apps that you have stored on your device.

Google recently updated its developer program policy and now treats this information as "personal and confidential user information," which restricts the use of apps.

The change will take effect in May and the app will only be able to use this permission when faced with the primary function or target of a user that requires a comprehensive view of the user app installed on the device.

Examples of applications that allow further use of this privilege include file managers, browsers, and antivirus applications that require data for visibility or interoperability.

Banking applications, digital wallet applications and all other applications containing financial transaction functionality are licensed for security reasons.

QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES is only permitted if the main functionality of the application is based on querying installed applications.

Developers must explain why the app is not offered in a minimal intrusive manner to fully enable basic user-centric features that are in line with the app's guidelines.

App use cases can be removed without proper permission from Google Play Store. All developers who want to retain permission for their apps must fill out a verification form to demonstrate fair use.

Also, if you are concerned that developers continue to abuse the license, Google's documentation makes it clear that it will deal firmly with fake apps, whether it's a new app in the store or just a new app. Update an existing application.

Google can block the app and cancel the developer account.

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