If you're skeeved out by apps tracking your location at all times (or even asking you to allow them to do so), good news: Android 11 aims to curb that behavior. The newest OS version requires apps to jump through a number of new hoops to get constant location access, eventually including getting approval to remain listed on the Play Store.

Currently in Android 10, when an app requests location access, users are presented with three options: to allow access while the app is in use, to allow access all the time, or to deny the request altogether. In Android 11, the choices will be to allow one-time access, allow access any time the app is in use, or refuse permission. App developers are being instructed to explain in-app why background location access is being requested in the first place and provide a link that leads to the option to grant permission in the system settings.


The new location permission pop-up.

Starting this August, new apps submitted to the Play Store that can request always-on location access will require approval. In November, such existing apps that fail to get approval will be removed altogether.

The new setup is remarkably similar to the way iOS handles location permission: there too, apps can't immediately request unfettered access to your location data. While this style of handling location data might be a little more cumbersome for tech-savvy users (I know I want Google Fit to have background access, for example; you don't need to ask twice), it serves to make it more obvious what exactly apps are asking for — and more transparency is never a bad thing.