How to use the new app permissions in Android 10

Android 10 is on the horizon. One change for the better is app permissions.

How to use the new app permissions in Android 10 Jack Wallen illustrates how the app permissions is managed in Android 10, versus the previous iteration.

Android 10 is on the horizon. Although it doesn't promise to be as radical a change as 9 was, it does include a number of improvements to already well-baked features. One such change for the better is app permissions. In this next iteration, Google decided it was time to take the app permissions sections of the settings app to a new level of user-friendliness. Instead of the app offering little more than ON/OFF sliders for each app within a service (such as body sensors, calendar, call logs, camera, etc.), the new layout makes it very clear what apps have permission for a specific service and retains the simplicity of allowing or denying an app permission to access any given service.

In other words, the system is the same, the layout of the options, however, is quite different. "How different?" you ask? Let me show you.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

The stuff of beta

I want to preface this by saying that I'm working with the beta version of Android 10 on a Pixel 3. I don't recommend using this version of Android on your daily driver as certain apps simply won't work. I will say, however, the beta of Android 10 runs very smoothly. Again, the only problem I've encountered (so far) has been third-party applications. If you're really curious about Android 10 and want to give the beta a try, make sure you have a spare phone that can house the new version of the platform.

How it used to work

Prior to Android 10, the app permissions worked like so:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Apps & Notifications.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Tap App permissions.
  5. Locate the service for which you want to modify permissions.
  6. Tap the ON/OFF toggle switch to enable or disable permissions for a specific application (Figure A).
Figure A

Figure A: Setting app permissions for the Calendar service in Android 9.

How it works now

Android 10 takes a much more user-friendly approach to this feature. Now, the process looks like this:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Apps & Notifications.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Tap App permissions.
  5. Locate the service for which you want to modify permissions.
  6. Tap the app for which you want to modify permissions.
  7. In the resulting window (Figure B), tap Allow or Deny to enable or disable the permission for the service in question.
Figure B

Figure B: Setting the Calendar permissions for the Gmail app.

So, as you can see, the functionality of the app permissions setting hasn't really changed, it's just laid out in such a way as to strip away any possible confusion. This should make it much easier for users to understand how app permissions work (and how to control them).

Added options

You will also notice, in the Android 10 take on app permissions, there are three other options:

  • Open
  • Uninstall
  • Force stop

As of the beta version of Android 10, these options do not function. After scanning through numerous apps and permissions, I found not one instance where I could open, uninstall, or force stop an app. Because of this, it's impossible (at this point) to test if the feature actually works, or if it's there for some obfuscated purpose.

Fine-Tuning

From what I've seen of Android 10, so far, Google is taking this release as an opportunity to really fine-tune the platform. Nothing has stood out as a deal-maker or breaker, but given how stable this beta is (third-party apps notwithstanding), the full release should be pretty stellar.

Also see

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.