Google will finally let file manager apps request “All Files Access” on Android 11 next month – XDA Developers3 min read

https://www.xda-developers.com/android-11-all-files-access-permission-form/

Google has actually started to send e-mails to developers whose apps request broad access to device storage. The email tells designers that, starting May 5th, they need to notify Google why their app demands broad storage access or they will not be enabled to publish updates that target Android 11. Prior to Android 11, apps could ask for broad access to a devices storage by declaring the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE approval in their Manifest and asking the user to give it. Lots of apps that had no legitimate requirement to check out all the files stored on the gadgets storage were requesting this authorization, causing Google to narrow storage gain access to approvals with Android 11s “Scoped Storage” changes. However, for apps that legally need broader storage access, such as file managers, Google encouraged them to continue to target Android 10 (API level 29) and to ask for “tradition” storage gain access to by stating requestLegacyExternalStorage=true in their Manifest.Legacy access permits apps to have broad access to the devices storage without undergoing Scoped Storage restrictions. All apps that target Android 11 (API level 30) and above are subject to Scoped Storage limitations and can not request legacy access to device storage. Instead, they must ask for a brand-new authorization called MANAGE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE (shown to the user as “All Files Access”) to be provided broad storage gain access to (omitting a handful of directories like/ Android/data or/ Android/obb). Beginning November of 2021, all apps and app updates sent to Google Play must target Android 11, suggesting that file supervisor apps and other apps that require broader storage gain access to must ultimately change to the Scoped Storage model and demand the All Files Access authorization. The only issue is that Google presently doesnt enable developers to ask for the “All Files Access” permission. Google earlier said it wants developers to sign a Declaration Form before the app will be permitted on Google Play. This Declaration Form is intended to allow Google to weed out apps that have no need for “All Files Access”, much like how Google limits access to the SMS, Call Log, and the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permissions.Although Google revealed their intent to make developers sign a Declaration Form all the method back in November of 2019, they still have not made those Declaration Forms in fact readily available. The business mentioned workforce difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic regarding why they were postponing permitting apps targeting Android 11 and asking for “All Files Access” to be submitted to Google Play. Google set the unspecified date of “early 2021” for when they would open the Declaration Form.Now finally, Google has begun to inform designers when apps can really request the “All Files Access” authorization. The email sent out to designers is confusingly worded, however a newly published support page adds some clearness. According to the support page, apps that target Android 11 and demand “All Files Access” can lastly be submitted to Google Play starting May 2021, which is presumably when the Declaration Form goes live. For a list of allowed usages, exceptions, and void uses of “All Files Access”, in addition to recommended alternative APIs, visit Googles support page.

For apps that legally need more comprehensive storage access, such as file supervisors, Google motivated them to continue to target Android 10 (API level 29) and to request “tradition” storage access by declaring requestLegacyExternalStorage=real in their Manifest.Legacy gain access to allows apps to have broad access to the gadgets storage without being subjected to Scoped Storage constraints. Instead, they need to ask for a brand-new approval called MANAGE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE (shown to the user as “All Files Access”) to be provided broad storage gain access to (omitting a handful of directory sites like/ Android/data or/ Android/obb). Starting November of 2021, all apps and app updates submitted to Google Play must target Android 11, meaning that file manager apps and other apps that need more comprehensive storage gain access to must eventually change to the Scoped Storage model and demand the All Files Access approval.

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