How does apps be able to download while they don't have access to files on the phone?

I was looking for some new apps on F-droid and i saw an app called QuranApp which can download files while it doesn’t have any access to file like reading files permission and modify or delete the content of shared storage permission, So could anyone explain this to me??

It is possible for an app to have the ability to download files without requiring access to the user’s files or storage permissions. This can be achieved through the use of Android’s Download Manager, which is a system service that enables apps to download files in a secure manner without the need for the app to directly access the user’s storage.

When an app uses the Download Manager, it requests that a file be downloaded and stored in a designated location. The Download Manager then handles the actual downloading of the file and storage of it in the specified location.

But it can’t read or access my files, right?

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If you are speaking about apps that don’t require that permission, then yes, they can’t.

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The Files permission is what allows an app to have access to all your files. The vast majority of apps do not need that. You should always deny this permission unless you know for a fact that an app requires it. For example, a text editor probably needs this as it needs to have the ability to open text files you already have stored in your phone.

If you are using GrapheneOS there is a feature called “storage scopes” which allows you give the Files permission to an app, but while only giving it access to specific files or directories. For example, you could use this with a text editor to limit its access to just the “Documents” directory. The way it works is by making the app think it has access to the contents of your entire storage, but in reality it can only see the files and directories you granted it access.

Also, you might have noticed that your web browser is still able to download files even though it doesn’t have storage permission. The way this works have been explained by @rollsicecream.

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