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The Deprecation of android.permission.GET_TASKS

Android, Permissions, GET_TASKS1 min read

Android permissions play a crucial role in ensuring the security and privacy of user data. With each Android release, there are changes and updates to the available permissions. In this article, we will focus on the deprecation of the android.permission.GET_TASKS permission, which was commonly used to retrieve information about the tasks currently running in the system. We will explore the reasons behind its deprecation and suggest alternative approaches for accomplishing similar tasks.

Deprecated: android.permission.GET_TASKS

Prior to Android 11 (API level 30), developers could use the android.permission.GET_TASKS permission to retrieve information about the tasks and activities currently running in the system. This permission provided access to sensitive information such as the list of recently opened applications, potentially compromising user privacy.

Reasons for Deprecation

The primary reason for deprecating the android.permission.GET_TASKS permission is to enhance user privacy and restrict access to sensitive information. Some malicious applications abused this permission by collecting and analyzing task data, potentially leading to privacy breaches. To mitigate these risks and ensure better user data protection, Google decided to deprecate this permission.

An Alternative Approach(Using UsageStatsManager)

Starting from Android 5.0 (API level 21), the UsageStatsManager API provides a safer alternative to retrieve task and activity information. This API allows developers to access statistics related to application usage, including recent tasks. By using this approach, you can obtain similar information without requiring the deprecated permission.

Here's an example Kotlin code snippet demonstrating the usage of UsageStatsManager:

1val usageStatsManager = getSystemService(Context.USAGE_STATS_SERVICE) as UsageStatsManager
3// Get app usage statistics for the last hour
4val endTime = System.currentTimeMillis()
5val startTime = endTime - TimeUnit.HOURS.toMillis(1)
6val stats = usageStatsManager.queryUsageStats(
7 UsageStatsManager.INTERVAL_DAILY,
8 startTime,
9 endTime
12// Iterate over the retrieved stats
13for (usageStats in stats) {
14 // Process the task or activity information as required