Android has improved significantly when it comes to app permissions compared to just a year or two ago, but Android 11 is making further improvements when it comes to sharing your location. And it’s taking an approach that is very similar to what exists in iOS.
In Android 10, if an app asks for location access you’ll get three options on first boot: allow access while using the app, allow access all the time, or deny access. While the first and third options are still available, Android 11 Developer Preview removes the option to all access all the time and replaces it with an “only this time” option.
It’s still possible to grant permission for an app to track you all the time, but it requires extra steps . Once you’ve granted permission to an app for location access, if it needs always-on access, it will need to ask again and specifically explain why. It will then provide a link to grant permission within the system settings.
Taking things a step forward, Google will require new apps submitted to the Play Store to get special approval for always-on location access starting this August. Pre-existing Play Store apps will have until November to get approval or they will be removed from Google’s app store.
All these changes are welcome and mean accidentally granting full permission to your location probably won’t be as much as an issue going forward. Android permissions were once a thing of nightmares, but with every new iteration the situation continues to improve and we couldn’t be happier.