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Android 10 permissions: What's new and how to use them!
Android 10 introduced a ton of new features but one of the most important features was the changes to the permission system. Permissions have come a long way on Android and it’s a lot better now than the archaic days where we used to give apps a dozen permissions before downloading them. We’ll take a look at all of the new Android 10 permissions features and how to access and change permissions on your phone. You can also check out our whole Android 10 review with the video above or as the written version here.
New Android 10 permissions
Android 10 added a few additional layers on top of the existing permission system. Thus, most of the permission system is the same as Android 9.0 Pie. However, the additions over the top gives us more control and better privacy.
The first big change is the ability to allow Android 10 permissions only while an app is active. It’s mostly saved for sensitive permissions like microphone, location, and similar permissions. Thus, you can give an app like Facebook access to your location but only while the app is active in the foreground. Theoretically, Facebook wouldn’t be able to track your location while it’s not in use.
Android 10 is the most personalized version of Android yet.
Additionally, another new thing in Android 10 permissions is Scoped Storage. Basically, apps can only see the data in the folders they create. However, file browser apps are designed to view all the files on the device. Thus, Google makes you personally choose which folders a file browser can see in order to protect your privacy a little more.
The other changes involve shuffling around permissions and some other changes that mostly affect developers rather than us. You can view all of those changes on Android’s official developer website.
How to view and change Android 10 permissions
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s learn how to view and change Android 10 permissions. First, let’s get to the proper section of the Settings menu to view Android 10 permissions and change them.
- Open Settings and navigate to Apps & notifications. From there, tap the Advanced option and then tap Permission Manager.
- You’ll see a list of all the various permissions on your phone. Select any one to view the apps with that permission on your device.
- Android 10 permissions have different categories. They are filed under Allowed or Denied. There is a third Allowed only while in use section for sensitive permissions like location or microphone.
- Change any permission by clicking on any app. You’re given a very simple Allow and Deny option. Select the one you want.
From there, you can adjust Android 10 permissions to your choosing. In fact, we highly recommend browsing through these menus to check out all the permissions your apps ask for and have access to. It’s actually quite easy and much more streamlined than it used to be.
Special app access controls
There is actually a second section for Android 10 permissions. Let’s get you to the proper spot and then we’ll tell you how to use the menu.
- Open Settings, navigate to Apps & notifications, and tap on the Advanced option to expand the menu.
- Click on the Special app access option.
- Select any category to view all of the apps with that special access. Unlike the regular Android 10 permissions section, this section only shows you apps with approved permission to use that feature. Thus, lists are a lot shorter and you may have categories with no apps listed.
- Select the app you want to remove permissions for.
- Tick the slider to the off position to remove the permission.
You’ll see a variety of categories such as Display over other apps, Do Not Disturb access, and Wi-Fi control. These are special Android 10 permissions that allow apps to do more than your standard permissions. Apps rarely ask for special app access and you’ll definitely notice if they do.
In general, you shouldn’t have to come into this section very often. You may need to remove antivirus apps from the Device Admin Apps section during an uninstall. However, by and large, you’ll likely never have to mess with this part of the menu.
Other tips and tricks
The methods above are the fastest and easiest methods to access Android 10 permissions. However, it’s not the only way. There are a few other things you can do to change or otherwise view permissions.
Alternate method to access Android 10 permissions:
- Open Settings and navigate to Apps & notifications. The top of that menu should have a section for Recently opened apps with a See all apps option. Click the See all apps option.
- You’ll see a list of all of your apps and games. Select the one you want to check out more.
- The next screen shows you all of the various options for that app. Click the Permissions option.
- This section shows you all of the permissions that app can use and whether or not those permissions were approved or denied.
- You can click on any permission to change it from approved to denied or vice versa.
That method functions as a different alternative in case you only want to deal with a specific app rather than every app. Additionally, you can do things like force close, wipe cache, and view data usage for the app through that menu.
Alternative method to open the Permission Manager:
- Open Settings and navigate to the Privacy settings.
- The Permission manager is the first option there. To be honest, this may be an easier way to access Android 10 permissions and you can use either this method or the other one if you want to. They both take you to the same screen.
Finally, there is one more section that controls Google-specific data collection from your various apps.
Change Google data collection from your apps and games:
- Open Settings and navigate to the Privacy section.
- There are two sections in the Privacy options to control Google data collection. They are Google location history and Activity controls.
- Google location history takes you to Google’s Location History page. Simply tick the box on or off to enable or disable the feature.
- Activity controls has a lot more stuff. You can enable or disable Google’s ability to collect web and app activity, location history, and YouTube history. The ad personalization settings are also available here with the ability to turn those on and off as well.
- You can also enable or disable sending anonymous diagnostic data with the Usage & diagnostics section in the Privacy settings menu.
With everything above, you should be able to fine tune your privacy and permissions as you see fit. However, if you want even more granular controls, we also recommend trying out Bouncer, an app that removes permissions as soon as you’re done using the app. It works well with existing Android 10 permissions.
Android 10 permissions are a lot more powerful than they used to be. With the tips and tricks above, you should be able to shut your phone down if you need it and otherwise manage and fine tune your permissions experience. We especially like how easy it is to get to Google’s more intrusive data collection practices through the Privacy settings. Have you messed around with your Android 10 permissions? Tell us about it in the comments!