Just as it should, Google always changes Android to harden it not only to hackers but also to unscrupulous app developers. You know, those who may not be thinking about stealing your private data under your noses. However, sometimes these changes mean that you remove privileges and access to features that some developers and users may have become accustomed to. In the upcoming Android Q, another change will come, and this time, the shaft will fall on apps that read and manage items you copy to Android's clipboard.
The latest disturbing privacy-related change Google introduces limited access to SMS and Call Logs for apps that were not Messaging or Phone apps. This would have resulted in the Tasker automation platform and even Titanium Backup losing important but not "core" functions. Fortunately, Google decided to allow case-by-case exceptions.
For Android Q, the change will affect access to the platform's clipboard. The recently launched beta mentions that apps cannot access clipboard data unless it is the default input method editor (IME). In other words, only the current default keyboard can be read from the clipboard and other programs running in the background cannot.
This change is intended to prevent apps from copying, saying passwords or other sensitive data without user knowledge. However, it also unlocks legal apps that use clipboard data for other purposes, such as transferring them to a computer for seamless copying and pasting between devices. With Android Q, these apps need to present themselves as keyboards, which is not entirely convenient for both users and developers.
However, a potential problem is that the change seems to affect any app running under Android Q, if that app targets Android or not. This is contrary to what Google says and is hopefully just an error. Even more hopefully, Google will find a way to meet privacy needs without blocking valid user cases.