A privacy-focused permissions feature from Android 11 is also coming to older phones

Android 11’s auto-reset permissions, where the operating system will restrict an app’s permission to access sensitive phone features like its storage or cameras if it hasn’t been opened for several months, are coming to older devices, Google has announced. The feature originally launched last year with Android 11, but will soon be available on all phones running Android 6 and above with Google Play Services, which Google says should cover “billions” of Android phones released since 2015.

The feature is designed to protect your privacy by preventing older apps from having unrestricted access to your phone if you haven’t used them in months. You’d love to let a new camera app access your storage while it’s all the rage, but chances are you’ll forget it installed soon after. Android’s security feature is designed to step in and reset these permissions once it becomes apparent that an app is no longer being used regularly.

According to Google, the feature is “automatically enabled on Google Play Services devices running Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher.” However, it must be enabled manually for apps not targeting Android 11. Apps may prompt users to disable this privacy feature if they regularly need to run in the background without you having to open them, Google says.

According to Google, the feature will roll out to devices running Android 6 to Android 10 with Google Play Services in December, before reaching all such devices in the first quarter of next year.