Recently Google has introduced new guidelines for applications that want to continue using the background location of their user. This is is a natural step in the strive to protect user’s privacy and keep them informed how their data is being used. You can use the platform to provide a valid case for requesting that permission, delivering value to the user.


Starting from 29 March 2021 Google Play store may block updates of applications with background location permission.
For more details please refer to Android documentation here.

What will change?

To fulfil the new guidelines in Android 11 and onwards, the location permission needs to be obtained in two separate stages.

Stage 1 - asking for location permission in general

App should display a prompt consising:

  • Information which features require location permission
  • Information that the app may access location even if the app is not currently in use
  • Information if the location obtained by the app will be used to personalise ads, If the user accepts the prompt. a system dialogue is displayed where the user can grant the permission.

In the case of Android 11 (or above) this stage allows the user to grant permission to use location only when they are using the app. Background location permission requires further steps (Stage 2)

Stage 2 - asking for background permission (only Android 11 and above )

The app should display another prompt explaining the benefits of granting background location permission. When user accepts the prompt they can be taken to the appropriate settings screen allowing them to change the permission level to “Always allow”.

The process is visualised in the figure below. More information can be found in the Android documentation page

Edit App

Play store requirements

Google require apps publishers to provide explanation regarding the use case requiring background location permission. It can be as simple as one shown below but it is best to find a suitable case best fitted for Your application.

This app allows users to be notified about offers from nearby stores. User can receive a notification with an offer while passing by a store, even if the app is not in use.

It is also mandatory to provide a short movie clip showing the feature requiring background location in action on an actual device. An example is shown below: