Android 12 has an easy way to tell if an app is accessing your phone camera or mic

Use Android 12’s new privateness dashboard and settings to management what data your apps can entry. 


Android 12 is now accessible on Pixel phones, together with the brand new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and it will be rolling out to other compatible Android devices quickly. The replace was introduced on the October Pixel event and comes with (*12*), like scrollable screenshots and Quick Tap.

Some of the brand new OS’s most fun options are its privacy upgrades. (Google additionally gave Android 12 some cool hidden features.) They’re designed to offer you extra management over how a lot personal data the apps on your phone can entry. Now Android customers can entry a privateness dashboard that lets them handle their permissions and site. The October Android update additionally helps you to disable your microphone and camera on all apps (extra under). 


Brett Pearce/CNET

Here’s how to see precisely which apps can entry particular details about you, and the way to revoke any permissions you are not comfy with. And we’ll present you the way to entry your new privateness dashboard to higher management what your apps can see about you.

How to tell if your phone’s camera or mic is in use

Android 12 provides a brand new indicator to the highest menu bar that seems when both your camera or microphone is being accessed. When the indicator seems, you’ll be able to swipe down from the highest of the display screen to view your quick-settings panel and switch entry off (extra on that under). 

The new Privacy Dashboard offers a timeline of which apps have accessed your phone and mic (or your location, or different delicate items of data) and when. To get to the Privacy Dashboard, go to Settings > Privacy > Privacy Dashboard.

Manage your location and permissions for Android apps

1. Open the Privacy Dashboard.

2. From the principle web page, you’ll be able to navigate to totally different permissions to see which apps accessed that data within the final 24 hours. These embody location, camera, microphone and contacts.

3. Tap the permission you need to view. You’ll see a timeline of which apps accessed that data and when. 

4. Tap Manage permission on the backside of the display screen. This will allow you to change what that app can entry. (You may also do that immediately from every app.) 

You’ll additionally discover the power to activate approximate location as a substitute of exact location, so apps that do not want to know precisely the place you’re (similar to climate apps) will not get that stage of element. 

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Easily turn off your microphone and camera access across all apps

Another new Android 12 feature gives you more control over use of your phone’s microphone and camera. Here’s how to turn them on and off across your entire phone:

1. Open your Quick Settings bar. 

2. Toggle the Microphone or Camera setting on or off. 

Note that this will turn it off for the entire system, so even if you’ve given an app permission to access the microphone or camera in the past, this will override that permission. However, the app itself won’t know you’ve turned it off — it will just see a blank feed. If you toggle either your camera or microphone off, the Android system will remind you when you’ve opened an app that needs them. 

For more, check out the best new Android 12 features and everything else announced at Google I/O

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