With the launch of Android P, Google said the new software will restrict idling apps from accessing a device’s microphone and camera. The new feature is designed to allay fears over possible snooping from apps that may secretly be recording users in the background.
Here’s how Google describes the new privacy feature:
While your app’s UID is idle, the mic reports empty audio and sensors stop reporting events. Cameras used by your app are disconnected and will generate an error if the app tries to use them.
The latest feature builds on privacy features that were introduced with Android O, which required users to give permission to apps that asked to use a device’s mic and camera. It should further put users at ease so they no longer feel like they’re constantly being surveilled.
Google released the first developer preview of Android P on Wednesday, introducing support for notched displays, improved messaging notifications, and more. According to Google, the first preview of Android P is strictly for developers, so beware if you decide to give the software a shot.
Users with a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL can download and flash Android P right now.