Google is expected to unveil the next-generation version of Android, Android 12, in just a few weeks. Ahead of the software’s debut, XDA Developers has shared some leaked screenshots that give us an idea of what we can expect from the new software.
According to XDA Developers, the screenshots are sourced from an “early draft of a document made to summarize changes in Android 12,” and those who are using iOS 14 will notice a few similarities between Apple’s latest update and Google’s upcoming release, as PCWorld points out.
Apple in iOS 14 added a little dot in the status bar to let you know if the microphone or the camera is activated, and in Android 12, Google appears to have a similar option. When the camera or the microphone is in use, there’s a green bar at the top of the Android interface.
After an app has accessed the camera or the microphone, Android 12 displays a small dot that can be tapped to let you see the specifics of which app used the phone hardware.
Google is also adding toggles for universally disabling the camera and the microphone in its overhauled privacy interface, which goes a bit beyond what Apple offers. With iPhones and iPads, you can disable camera and microphone access on an app-by-app basis, but not for every app.
The widgets interface in Android 12 is similar to the widgets interface in iOS 14 with a cleaner look and better organization to make it easier to find widgets to use on the Home screen.
Apple likely won’t be upset that Google is following in its footsteps to boost privacy controls, as Apple execs have said several times that when it comes to privacy protections, Apple is happy to see competitors copying its work.
Google is also planning to embrace another Apple privacy change – App Tracking Transparency. Recent reports suggest that Google is considering a “less stringent” version of the feature, which requires app developers to get user permission before tracking them across apps and websites. “We’re always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy while enabling a healthy, ad-supported app ecosystem,” said a Google spokesperson.
The leaked screenshots from XDA Developers haven’t been confirmed, but we should see the new Android 12 operating system features later in February.