Google has been discouraging the use of overlays for years, since they are commonly used by malware. Android 10 removed the ability for the overlay permission to be permanently granted (it would go away after a reboot, in most cases), and the company even hinted last year that the API might go away entirely.

While the overlays permission isn't going anywhere with Android 11 — at least not right now, anyway — Google is adding an extra step to the process. According to the Android developer documentation, apps asking for overlay permission can no longer take you to the app's individual toggle.

Beginning with Android 11, ACTION_MANAGE_OVERLAY_PERMISSION intents always bring the user to the top-level Settings screen where they can grant or revoke the SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permissions for apps. Any package: data in the intent is ignored.

In earlier versions of Android, the ACTION_MANAGE_OVERLAY_PERMISSION intent could specify a package, which would bring the user to an app-specific screen for managing the permission. This functionality is no longer supported in Android 11. Instead, the user must first select the app they wish to grant or revoke the permission to. This change is intended to protect users by making the permission grant more intentional.

When an app asks for permission to display overlays, the user will be sent to the general 'Display over other apps' permission list, so they'll have to find the app in the list and select it there. Not a big deal, but it does add a bit of friction that may prevent users from blindly giving malware access to overlays.