Android 11 builds upon earlier versions of Android, adding features and updates to keep users secure and increase transparency and control. All developers should review the privacy features and test their apps. Impacts can vary based on each app's core functionality, targeting, and other factors.

To learn more about the key changes that take effect in Android 11, look through the following sections.

Top privacy changes

This table summarizes the key changes related to privacy that are taking effect in Android 11.

Privacy change Apps affected Mitigation strategy
Scoped storage enforcement
Apps that target Android 11 or higher are always subject to scoped storage behaviors
Apps that target Android 11 or higher, as well as apps that target Android 10 and haven't set requestLegacyExternalStorage to true to opt out of scoped storage Update your app to work with scoped storage
Learn more about the scoped storage changes
One-time permissions
Users can grant temporary access to location, microphone, and camera using one-time permissions
Apps that run on Android 11 or higher and request location, microphone, or camera permissions Check that your app has a permission before attempting to access data that's guarded by that permission
Follow best practices for requesting permissions
Permissions auto-reset
If users haven't interacted with an app for a few months on Android 11 or higher, the system auto-resets the app's sensitive permissions
Apps that target Android 11 or higher and perform most of their work in the background Ask the user to prevent the system from resetting your app's permissions
Learn more about permissions auto-reset
Background location access
Android 11 changes how users can grant the background location permission to apps
Apps that target Android 11 or higher and need access to background location Request foreground (coarse or fine) and background location permissions incrementally in separate calls to the permission request method. When necessary, explain the benefits that users receive for granting that permission
Learn more about background location access in Android 11
Package visibility
Android 11 changes how apps query and interact with other installed apps on the same device
Apps that target Android 11 or higher and interact with other installed apps on a device Add the <queries> element to your app's manifest
Learn more about package visibility
Foreground services
Android 11 changes how foreground services can access location, camera, and microphone data
Apps that run on Android 11 or higher and access location, the camera, or the microphone in a foreground service Declare the camera and microphone foreground service types for the foreground services that require access to the camera and microphone, respectively. Be aware, however, that foreground services that start while the app is in the background usually cannot access location, camera, or microphone.
Learn more about the changes to foreground services

Get started with privacy updates

  1. Review the privacy features: Assess your app. Look for how your app stores files and user data, requests permissions, requests location. In addition, look for ways that your app interacts with other apps, consider performing an audit of the data that your app accesses, and determine whether your app needs to update how it uses foreground services.
  2. Test your app on Android 11: Run your app on Android 11. Use app compatibility tools to evaluate how individual system changes affect your app.
  3. Update your app: Targeting Android 11 if possible, test with users and publish an update.

Android 11 news and videos