Android P to alert users if backgrounds apps are using camera, microphone

Google’s decision to expand availability of the Android P developer preview build – with Developer Preview 2 being announced at yesterday’s Google I/O keynote – to more devices means there will be plenty more eyes looking for changes compared to previous Android versions. We already knew Google was taking some steps with this latest release to help users better control background apps and processes. This will help with power management, but has the side benefit of helping with security as well. In that vein, one change that was recently spotted involves additional transparency around the camera and microphone hardware in our phones.

Users who have loaded the latest version of Android P have spotted some additions to the notifications that display for background apps. Android P will now let users know if a background app is using the device’s microphone or camera. This is accomplished in the notification through the addition of small icons for the camera and microphone.

Have you run into cases where you wish you had known a background process was using the camera or microphone without your knowledge?

source: Android Police

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.