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Android apps get SMS and call security boost

(Image credit: Image Credit: Alok Sharma / Pexels)

Google has updated its Play Store Developer Policy in an attempt to better protect call and text data on the Android platform. 

The updated policy now requires an app that wants call permissions, to be the default call app on the device. The same goes for SMS apps – if an app wants access to SMS, the user first must make it the default app for texting.

Assistant apps, like Alexa, given that they get the 'default' status, can get access to both.

Google says it's very well aware of other apps that need this access to remain functional – like backup apps or caller ID apps. For those, the company is willing to create exceptions.

The full list of permissions included for each default app, as well as the list of exceptions Google is willing to make, can be found on the Play Console Help (opens in new tab) page. You can also find instructions on how to get your app's permissions approved.

Even though the change is effective as of now, Google won't be enforcing it for another 90 days, to give developers time to prepare. As of January 6, all apps on the Play Store will need to keep the new rules in mind.

It's important to notice that this only affects apps on the Play Store. Those apps that get distributed through other app marketplaces don't need to adhere to these rules.

Image Credit:  Alok Sharma / Pexels

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.