Android P will restrict background apps from accessing camera: Report

This will help void the concerns of malicious apps access a device’s camera without user’s knowledge.

  • Published: February 21, 2018 9:57 AM IST

Last year’s Android Oreo is a far fetched dream for many users, and here were are gathering rumors about the upcoming Android operating system. According a rumor that comes via XDA Developers, a recent commit on Android Open Source Project appears to indicate that Android P could implement a rule that would prevent background apps from accessing the camera.

Apparently, this rule will be applied to apps’ User IDs, which are unique identifiers that Android associates to each application when it’s installed. Whenever an ID becomes idle, for instance if a device goes into Doze mode, Android will block off its access to the camera.

It has been a long-standing concern regarding malicious apps snatching access to a device’s camera without the user’s knowledge. Laptops still come with an LED next to the camera that notifies if the camera is being accessed, however, phones and tablets give no such indication. And for concerns like these, this Android P feature could be a cold water on a burn.

Google attempted the same with Android Oreo also if you can recall. It started to display an “app is running in the background” notification in several situations, including when the camera is in use. Unfortunately, users disliked the constant notifications so much that many chose to either ignore them or attempt to disable them entirely, thereby voiding any potential privacy gains.

Additionally, as per some previously noted rumors, Google is also working on an overhaul of its Android mobile OS in order to mimic the notch at the top of the device. The update with native support for the notch is expected to be shipped as part of the next version of Android due to launch later this year. The operating system is also said to tightly integrate Google Assistant, and offer improvements in key areas such as battery life on phones and support for new device form factors including multiple screens and foldable displays.

Besides that, Google is apparently also exploring the option to integrate the search bar on the Android home screen with the Assistant. While Apple has scaled back on major improvement to its mobile operating system, Google seems to be planning a dramatic redesign including support for the notch.

Google names its Android operating system after dessert, and the new version is internally called as Pistachio Ice Cream. While the company will use a different name when it launches later this year, there is a possibility of the final version being called Peppermint.

  • Published Date: February 21, 2018 9:57 AM IST