Android Q promises more transparency on how to access your GPS position
By Amara Taylor 2019-06-05 136 0
Google wants to make privacy one of the pillars of Android 10 Q. Among the various functionalities implemented, access to the phone's position will undergo some modifications.
This is not the first time that Google has upgraded its system. A brief look back at the history of this matter.
From Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), as soon as an application wants to access the phone's position, the user must validate its permission. It is up to the developer to ensure that an alternative solution is proposed in the event of refusal. If approved, applications can then obtain the location of the terminal at any time.
However, Google has implemented some limitations on Android 8.0 (Oreo) to prevent applications from asking too frequently for the user's location, because GPS is an energy-intensive sensor. However, there is a workaround by displaying a notification to the user. That's why you must have seen these notifications multiply.
More transparency on Android Q
As for Android 10.0 (or Android Q), Google wants to give users a greater granularity on how to access their location. For this purpose, two cases can be distinguished: when the application is in the foreground and when the user is in another context (with the application in the background).
From now on, the user will have to validate if he wants to give access to the position when the application is displayed, but also if he grants this right when it is in the background. In this way, the user will be able to block uses that he/she considers suspicious of certain applications. It will also require developers to be more transparent and educational, explaining the reason for this or that use.
Permissions that take into account the context
At Google I/O 2019, the Mountain View firm even suggested that application developers ask for permissions in their context. Imagine an application that displays bus stop schedules. First, to list the schedules of the nearest stop, only the permission in the foreground should be requested.
On the other hand, if the user wishes to be guided to the said stop, the application will then have to request permission in the background, so that navigation is not stopped if the user switches to another application.
Of course, these are only recommendations, developers will be free to do what they think is relevant.
What will happen during the migration from Android Pie?
When switching to Android Q, all applications where the user had validated the permission to access the GPS position will have both foreground and background permission. Google wants to make a smooth transition here.
Now if applications use your position in the background, a notification will be displayed to notify you. This behavior is based on what already exists on iOS.
Google is therefore making Android evolve smoothly by allowing users to better understand the behavior of each application. This transparency is both good for privacy management, but also indirectly to save battery power.
Feel free to check our list to see if your smartphone is compatible with the Android 10 Q beta. If you want to know how to install it, go here.
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