This week may be full of news from Apple Developers Conference in progress, but Google also has Android news to share. The second was released public beta of Android 12 today, and this update brings features that were announced in I / O last month like Privacy dashboard. It will also add kill switches for your microphone and camera, an indicator to show when these sensors are in use and an updated look for WiFi network parameters.
Privacy Dashboard provides an overview of how sensors such as your camera, microphone and GPS are used by your device’s applications. It shows a graph at the top of how much they have been used in the last 24 hours, followed by lists of all the applications that have access to each. You can also get a chronological view of the sensor’s activity and ask for explanations from the application as to why they needed your data.
With new switches for your camera and microphone in the shadow of the quick settings, Android 12 will offer an easy way to kill those sensors for more peace of mind that no one is listening maliciously to your conversations. When these are activated, Google said the app “will receive blank cameras and audio feeds, and the system will manage notifying the user to enable access to use the app’s features.” Android 12 will also show a small dot in the status bar if these sensors are used, so you know if an app has turned on your mic, for example.
Other updates coming to the second public beta of Android 12 include a modified interface that shows your available WiFi networks in a popup panel when you long-press the icon in Quick Settings. Previously, you would be taken to a separate page to see the available connections, but the new experience allows you to stay on the same page, with the popup window occupying only the bottom two-thirds of the screen.
Android 12 will be even more transparent about what apps receive information from your clipboard, and this latest beta will show a notification at the bottom of the screen if an app other than the one from which you copied something reads that.
There are still big changes coming to Google’s mobile operating system that aren’t even in public beta, including the Material You design that will adapt your system’s color scheme to the wallpaper you choose. Things like audio-coupled haptic feedback for richer or more immersive experiences are also waiting for developers to implement it. But the second public beta of Android 12 seems to offer a preview of more functional changes to come, particularly from the privacy side. If you want to control them, and you don’t mind using potentially unstable software, you can sign up for the beta at The Google site. Those who were already registered will receive Beta 2 updates live today.
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