Google has started taking Android security much more seriously in recent years, removing dangerous permissions and implementing new privacy tools. Seeing Google clobber bad apps is an unabashedly good thing, but sometimes an app we love gets caught in the crossfire. Case in point: Tasker is about to lose major pieces of its functionality because of Google's crackdown on app permissions.
About a month ago, Google announced that it would no longer allow apps to request the phone and SMS permissions all willy-nilly. Instead, only apps that have been set as a user's default can make that request. That's a problem for Tasker because it isn't intended as a replacement for your messaging or dialer apps.
Tasker is an all-in-one automation app that plugs into numerous device permissions and APIs to support more than 200 actions. People use Tasker to automatically launch apps, control do not disturb, play music, and so much more. Phone calls and SMS are an important piece of Tasker's functionality, so the developer submitted an exemption request to Google. Well, he heard back, and Google has denied the request.
Unless something changes, Tasker is going to lose some functionality soon. The developer is working on a new version of the app that no longer requests the SMS and phone call permissions. That means you won't be able to use either one has a trigger or action in Tasker. The update should be out in January. You might want to create a backup of the current version.
Tasker's current developer, joaomgcd, has posted the below update to the Tasker subreddit:
I've got some good news!
After Google got in touch with me about the SMS and call permissions in Tasker, they've now added Task Automation apps as an exception in their exception list!
I would be shocked if Tasker was denied the permissions now! 😁
In any case, I'll post the final confirmation after I (hopefully) get the approval from Google!
Thanks again for all your help throughout the whole process everyone! You're all super awesome!
Also special thanks to Mishaal Rahman for letting me know that the exception list was updated! 😀