Behavior changes: Apps targeting Android 11

Like earlier releases, Android 11 includes behavior changes that may affect your app. The following behavior changes apply exclusively to apps that are targeting Android 11 or higher. If your app sets targetSdkVersion to 30, you should modify your app to support these behaviors properly, where applicable.

Be sure to also review the list of behavior changes that affect all apps running on Android 11.

Privacy

Android 11 introduces changes and restrictions to enhance user privacy, including the following:

  • Scoped storage enforcement: Access into external storage directories is limited to an app-specific directory and specific types of media that the app has created.
  • Permissions auto-reset: If users haven't interacted with an app for a few months, the system auto-resets the app's sensitive permissions.
  • Background location access: Users must be directed to system settings in order to grant the background location permission to apps.
  • Package visibility: When an app queries for the list of installed apps on the device, the returned list is filtered.

To learn more, see the Privacy page.

Security

Heap pointer tagging

Change details

Change Name: NATIVE_HEAP_POINTER_TAGGING

Change ID: 135754954

How to toggle

As you test your app's compatibility with Android 11, you can toggle this change on or off using the following ADB commands:

adb shell am compat enable (135754954|NATIVE_HEAP_POINTER_TAGGING) PACKAGE_NAME
adb shell am compat disable (135754954|NATIVE_HEAP_POINTER_TAGGING) PACKAGE_NAME

For more information about the compatibility framework and toggling changes, see Test your app's compatibility with Android 11.

Heap pointers now have a non-zero tag in the most significant byte (MSB). Applications that use pointers incorrectly, including those that modify the MSB, can now crash or experience other issues. This change is necessary to support future hardware with ARM Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) enabled. To learn more, see Tagged Pointers.

To disable this feature, see the allowNativeHeapPointerTagging manifest documentation.

Updates to toasts

Custom toasts from the background are blocked

For security reasons and to maintain a good user experience, the system blocks toasts that contain custom views if those toasts are sent from the background by an app that targets Android 11 or higher. Note that text toasts are still allowed; these are toasts created using Toast.makeText() that don't call setView().

If your app tries to post a toast containing a custom view from the background anyway, the system doesn't show the message to the user. Instead, the system logs the following message in logcat:

W/NotificationService: Blocking custom toast from package \
  <package> due to package not in the foreground

Toast callbacks

If you want to be notified when a toast (text or custom) appears or disappears, use the addCallback() method, which was added in Android 11.

Text toast API changes

Apps that target Android 11 or higher see the following side effects for text toasts:

Connectivity

Restricted read access to APN database

Change details

Change Name: APN_READING_PERMISSION_CHANGE_ID

Change ID: 124107808

How to toggle

As you test your app's compatibility with Android 11, you can toggle this change on or off using the following ADB commands:

adb shell am compat enable (124107808|APN_READING_PERMISSION_CHANGE_ID) PACKAGE_NAME
adb shell am compat disable (124107808|APN_READING_PERMISSION_CHANGE_ID) PACKAGE_NAME

For more information about the compatibility framework and toggling changes, see Test your app's compatibility with Android 11.

Apps that target Android 11 now require the Manifest.permission.WRITE_APN_SETTINGS privileged permission to read or access the Telephony provider APN database. Attempting to access the APN database without this permission generates a security exception.

Accessibility

Declare interaction with TTS engines in manifest file

Because of changes to package visibility, apps that target Android 11 and interact with a text-to-speech (TTS) engine need to add the following <queries> element to their manifest files:

<queries>
  <intent>
    <action
       android:name="android.intent.action.TTS_SERVICE" />
  </intent>
</queries>

Declare accessibility button usage in metadata file

Change details

Change Name: REQUEST_ACCESSIBILITY_BUTTON_CHANGE

Change ID: 136293963

How to toggle

As you test your app's compatibility with Android 11, you can toggle this change on or off using the following ADB commands:

adb shell am compat enable (136293963|REQUEST_ACCESSIBILITY_BUTTON_CHANGE) PACKAGE_NAME
adb shell am compat disable (136293963|REQUEST_ACCESSIBILITY_BUTTON_CHANGE) PACKAGE_NAME

For more information about the compatibility framework and toggling changes, see Test your app's compatibility with Android 11.

Starting in Android 11, your accessibility service cannot make a runtime declaration that it has an association with the system's accessibility button. If you append AccessibilityServiceInfo.FLAG_REQUEST_ACCESSIBILITY_BUTTON to the flags property of an AccessibilityServiceInfo object, the framework doesn't pass accessibility button callback events to your service.

To receive accessibility callback events in your accessibility service, use your accessibility service metadata file to declare your service's association with the accessibility button. Include the flagRequestAccessibilityButton value in your definition of the accessibilityFlags attribute. A common location for the accessibility service metadata file is res/raw/accessibilityservice.xml.

Camera

Media intent actions require system default camera

Starting in Android 11, only pre-installed system camera apps can respond to the following intent actions:

If more than one pre-installed system camera app is available, the system presents a dialog for the user to select an app. If you want your app to use a specific third-party camera app to capture images or videos on its behalf, you can make these intents explicit by setting a package name or component for the intent.

App packaging and installation

Compressed resource files

Change details

Change Name: RESOURCES_ARSC_COMPRESSED

Change ID: 132742131

How to toggle

As you test your app's compatibility with Android 11, you can toggle this change on or off using the following ADB commands:

adb shell am compat enable (132742131|RESOURCES_ARSC_COMPRESSED) PACKAGE_NAME
adb shell am compat disable (132742131|RESOURCES_ARSC_COMPRESSED) PACKAGE_NAME

For more information about the compatibility framework and toggling changes, see Test your app's compatibility with Android 11.

Apps that target Android 11 (API level 30) or higher can't be installed if they contain a compressed resources.arsc file or if this file is not aligned on a 4-byte boundary. This file cannot by memory-mapped by the system if either of these conditions is present. Resources tables that cannot be memory-mapped must be read into a buffer in RAM resulting in unnecessary memory pressure on the system and greatly increased device RAM usage.

APK Signature Scheme v2 now required

Apps that target Android 11 (API level 30) that are currently only signed using APK Signature Scheme v1 must now also be signed using APK Signature Scheme v2 or higher. Users can't install or update apps that are only signed with APK Signature Scheme v1 on devices that run Android 11.

To verify that your app is being signed with APK Signature Scheme v2 or higher, you can use either Android Studio, or the apksigner tool on the command line.

Firebase

Firebase JobDispatcher and GCMNetworkManager

If your app targets API level 30 or higher, Firebase JobDispatcher and GcmNetworkManager API calls are disabled on devices running Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher. For migration information, see Migrating from Firebase JobDispatcher to WorkManager and Migrating from GCMNetworkManager to WorkManager.

Device-to-device file transfer

If your app targets Android 11 or higher, you cannot disable device-to-device migration of your app's files using the allowBackup attribute. The system automatically allows this functionality.

However, you can still disable cloud-based backup and restore of your app's files by setting the allowBackup attribute to false, even if your app targets Android 11 or higher.

Callback changes for OnSharedPreferenceChangeListener

Change details

Change Name: CALLBACK_ON_CLEAR_CHANGE

Change ID: 119147584

How to toggle

As you test your app's compatibility with Android 11, you can toggle this change on or off using the following ADB commands:

adb shell am compat enable (119147584|CALLBACK_ON_CLEAR_CHANGE) PACKAGE_NAME
adb shell am compat disable (119147584|CALLBACK_ON_CLEAR_CHANGE) PACKAGE_NAME

For more information about the compatibility framework and toggling changes, see Test your app's compatibility with Android 11.

For apps targeting Android 11 (API level 30), whenever Editor.clear is called, a callback is now made to OnSharedPreferenceChangeListener.onSharedPreferenceChanged with a null key.

Non-SDK interface restrictions

Android 11 includes updated lists of restricted non-SDK interfaces based on collaboration with Android developers and the latest internal testing. Whenever possible, we make sure that public alternatives are available before we restrict non-SDK interfaces.

If your app does not target Android 11, some of these changes might not immediately affect you. However, while you can currently use some non-SDK interfaces (depending on your app's target API level), using any non-SDK method or field always carries a high risk of breaking your app.

If you are unsure if your app uses non-SDK interfaces, you can test your app to find out. If your app relies on non-SDK interfaces, you should begin planning a migration to SDK alternatives. Nevertheless, we understand that some apps have valid use cases for using non-SDK interfaces. If you cannot find an alternative to using a non-SDK interface for a feature in your app, you should request a new public API.

To learn more about the changes in this release of Android, see Updates to non-SDK interface restrictions in Android 11. To learn more about non-SDK interfaces generally, see Restrictions on non-SDK interfaces.