With the release of Android 12 comes a whole slew of new features for 70% of the phone carrying population. With the continually growing importance of privacy, Android has taken a proactive approach to furthering the safety of their customer base.
In case you weren’t aware of some of these steps, this will be a quick primer to Android’s newest protections.
Since Android 11, apps that go unused for months enter a disabled, compressed state to optimize performance. That same principle is being applied now to privacy, where any app you haven’t touched in a while will automatically disable the permissions you gave it, such as your camera, location, etc.
This will eliminate apps that lie low and report your information without you necessarily being aware that it’s happening, or even remember that the app exists on your phone at all.
The new update has also added a new menu in Settings to show you all of your apps and their active permissions. In one screen, you’re able to view and manage everything all at once. If you aren’t sure what apps have access to what information, you should go check this right away.
Possibly the most immediately visible new feature is the clear indication on your screen telling you whether your camera or microphone is being currently accessed by an app.
If you want to see what it looks like, go to your camera and pay attention to the top right corner. That little green dot lets you know that your camera or microphone is being used.
With this new feature, you’re able to know if any apps are illicitly or unknowingly listening in on your conversations, or watching you without you realizing. This feature not only provides useful information, but also a great deal of peace of mind to any android users.
In general, frequently updating your device is important to keeping it secure. Often, patches come with key security updates that eliminate known vulnerabilities.
While it’s important to update your phone frequently regardless, an update like this one is especially important since it gives you these key features to make you safe.
The update has been available to Pixel phones since late November, but now should be available to all Android devices. Be sure to update as soon as possible, and enjoy your greater sense of security!