The Google takes the aspect of the safety of devices based on Android and, therefore, continues to work on improving the platform, introducing changes that are able to guarantee users a level of protection gradually higher.
Android applications can check what other apps are installed on a device using authorization QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES but given the security and privacy risks, this feature is designed only for apps that actually need it, such as launcher.
New measure for apps published on the Google Play Store
Last year, the Mountain View giant announced that it would start deleting apps from the Google Play Store who used this authorization without good reason and it seems that this rule is about to come into effect.
The Google team, in fact, sent an email to developers with apps published using the permission QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES to inform them that they will have to fill in the relevant authorization declaration in the Play Console: this declaration includes an explanation of the reason for which the authorization in question is requested, with a written description and a short demonstration video. Apps without such a declaration are likely to be removed from the Google Play Store starting June 1, 2022.
The developers of the affected applications then have the option to explain the need to use this permission for the app to function or to remove the permission request.
The Mountain View giant has also created similar rules for apps that use accessibility services and this system represents a satisfactory solution for end users, who otherwise risk being exposed to dangerous applications.
A little different, however, is the discourse for app developers, who at this point must hope that the Google team will be able to be quick and effective in evaluating the explanations provided by those who want to continue using the authorization. QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES in your own applications.