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Android Q May Block Background Clipboard Access for Third-Party Apps, Bring Update Rollback Feature for Apps

Android Q May Block Background Clipboard Access for Third-Party Apps, Bring Update Rollback Feature for Apps

Android Q may enable third-party apps to access your location in the background

  • Android Q appears to permit background clipboard access
  • An alleged leaked Android Q build includes relevant permission
  • New Android version is said to have two permissions related to rollback

Android Q, the next Android version that is expected to debut at Google I/O 2019, is said to be coming with a feature that will restrict background clipboard access for third-party apps. This will help users protect sensitive information such as usernames and passwords from being accessed by malicious third-party apps. Some references in an alleged leaked build of Android Q also point to an option to let you rollback app updates. The next Android version may also re-enable third-party apps to have background access to your location. Additionally, Android Q is speculated to have fresh pre-installed fonts, icon shapes, and accent colours.

According to an XDA Developers report, the alleged leaked build of Android Q that emerged earlier this month is found to have a new permission that suggests the ability to restrict third-party apps from reading your clipboard. The permission, named "android.permission.READ_CLIPBOARD_IN_BACKGROUND", apparently enables users to grant apps ability to read their clipboard data while running in the background. The protection level of the newly found permission is "signature", meaning only apps signed by the manufacturers can be granted to access clipboard data in the background.

Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers has also spotted a couple of new permissions for the system-level apps to enable downgrading of apps. The permissions, titled "PACKAGE_ROLLBACK_AGENT" and "MANAGE_ROLLBACKS", are likely to allow Google Play to move an app back to its previous version. Further, there are broadcast events, namely "PACKAGE_ENABLE_ROLLBACK" and "PACKAGE_ROLLBACK EXECUTED", that both could essentially intimate the apps about the rollback action.

Rahman has also mentions that there is a new "--enable-rollback" flag in the leaked Android Q build that has been included in the "pm" command. This could enable the rollback process for end users.

Android Oreo, back in 2017, restricted background location access for the third-party apps. However, Rahman spotted in the leaked Android Q build that Google is bringing background location access back for the third-party apps. There is a new permission to let an app start accessing location data in the background. The description of the new permission, titled "ACCESS_BACKGROUND_LOCATION", warns users that the "app will always have access to the location, even when you're not using the app."

It has been sighted that the new background location access permission may be granted "additionally to the approximate or precise location". However, the coarse location permission can only access your location based on network sources such as cell towers and Wi-Fi networks when the app is in the foreground, as per the strings available in the leaked Android Q framework.

The leaked Android Q build is also seen to have references around a new list of pre-installed fonts, icon shapes, and accent colours. XDA Developers has found that there are two pre-installed fonts, namely Arvolato and Rubik; four icon shapes, including Rounded Rectangle, Square, Squircle, Teardrop; and three accent colours, including Black, Green, and Purple.

android q icons overlays xdadevelopers Android Q

Photo Credit: XDA Developers


The new Android version is also found to categorise overlays into three groups. This sounds similar to how Android is available on Pixel models where the models have three overlay packages, including a notch accessible via Developer Options, Pixel framework, and a partial dark theme.

Google is hosting I/O 2019 developer conference between May 7 and May 9 in Mountain View, California, where it is expected to preview Android Q formally. However, considering the number of revelations surfaced on the Web so far, it is safe to expect a list of new leaks around the upcoming Android platform. The new Android version is already rumoured to have a system-wide dark mode, desktop mode, and a facial recognition feature similar to Apple's Face ID.


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