Android 11: A cheat sheet


With your Android device upgraded to version 11, you’ll want to get control of app permissions. Jack Wallen shows you how.

Image: César Salza/CNET en Español

Your device has upgraded to Android 11. Everything is running smoothly, but you know there’s more to be done. Consider this: Android 11 gives you much more control over app permissions. The problem is, you’ve already installed a bunch of apps prior to upgrading to 11. That means those apps already have permissions set.

Of course, Android 11 will revoke permissions on apps that you don’t use for a couple of months, with a caveat (more on this in a bit). Why wait for that eventuality when you can manage those app permissions right away–especially when you might have given those apps unrestricted access to your device?

How do you do this? Let me show you.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020: Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung Galaxy S20, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need to make this work is an Android device running the latest release of the operating system (version 11). 

How to adjust permissions on Android 11

To locate the Permission Manager, open the Settings app and then tap Privacy. In the resulting window, tap Permission Manager. You should now see a listing of all the available services on your device (Figure A).

Figure A

permg.jpg

The installed app listing with the Android 11 Permission Manager.

Locate and tap a particular service you want to manage. For instance, say you want to manage the permissions of the Location service. Tap Location and you’ll see a listing of every app that has permission to access the service. You’ll see three categories:

Scroll through the listing and find an app you want to modify. Tap that entry and you can then modify the permission to be one of the following:

Tap the permission you want the app to have and then back out of the app listing by tapping the left-pointing arrow at the top-left corner. Go through every app for this service and modify the permissions to perfectly fit your needs. When you’re done, back out of this service and move on to the next. 

How to enable permission auto-remove

Remember that caveat I mentioned earlier? Android 11 has a pretty nifty feature that will automatically remove permissions from an app if it’s not used for a few months. However, this feature is not enabled for any applications by default. In order to use the feature, you have to enable it on an app-by-app basis. 

That’s about as efficient as a Windows 10 upgrade. However, I’ve thought this through and have figured out how to make it work for you. The best thing is to go through your installed apps, locate the apps you don’t use very often, and enable the feature.

To do this, open the Settings app and then go to Apps & Notifications. From there, tap See All X Apps (where X is the number of apps you have installed). In the resulting window, locate and tap one of the apps you infrequently use. In the resulting window, tap Permissions (Figure B).

Figure B

permh.jpg

The App info page for AZ Screen Recorder.

In the App permissions window, tap the On/Off slider for Remove Permissions If App Isn’t Used, until it’s in the On position (Figure C).

Figure C

permh.jpg

The app permissions window for AZ Screen Recorder.

And that’s it. You’ve enabled your first app such that, if you don’t use it for a few months (we don’t know how many months that actually is), permissions will be removed for that app. This is a good way to ensure those apps you don’t use very often cannot gain access to your data. When you do go to use such an app again, you’ll then have to grant it permissions. 

There you go, you’ve managed app permissions on Android 11. With just a bit of time and effort, you can make sure none of your installed apps have permissions they shouldn’t. Lock that mobile device down and you’ll enjoy a heightened sense of privacy and security.

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