Today, while using the Stack Exchange app on iOS 14.1, it prompted for permission to access devices on my local network.
What types of devices could it be trying to access?
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From what I understand, this permission is used for streaming stuff to network devices and for smart home apps to work.
The Stack Exchange app should do neither of those things and not need this permission.
Go to settings, search for Stack Exchange, and turn this permission off. You don’t need it (and if for some bizarre reason I’m wrong and you did you could do the same to turn it back on).
When I updated to iOS 14, I wasn’t prompted for this and the app continued to work. I did eventually get the pop up but what triggered it was probably the fact that my internet connection was having trouble: no other apps that needed internet worked, and my computer was also unable to load anything. I denied the permission and when my internet came back, everything was fine. (I’ve seen this happen in iOS 14 with other internet connected apps before and I denied it with no ill effects, well before it happened in the SE app.)
As a result, I don’t think that this was malicious or even suspicious but rather something that was done in a futile attempt to have the app try to recover from internet problems.