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Google limits third-party camera apps on Android 11 devices to boost privacy

By Nadeem Sarwar August 20, 2020, 9:03 pm

Google has updated the behavior change support document for developers whose apps are getting ready for Android 11, and it changes the operating system’s intent method for launching a camera app. In Android 11, a majority of apps will be forced to use the default pre-installed camera app on a phone for recording videos and taking photos rather than the third-party apps installed on the device.

“This is designed to ensure that the EXIF location metadata is correctly processed based on the location permissions defined within the app sending the intent,” says Google. In a statement given to The Verge, Google claims that the change has been made to make sure that an incident such as the Shutterfly app, which covertly sent GPS coordinates back to its servers without explicitly asking permission for location tracking, does not happen again.

So what does this mean for users? Well, you’ll still be able to download a third-party camera app and use it freely by selecting the icon from the app tray or using a shortcut such as double-tapping the power button. Additionally, apps that have their own camera interface such as Instagram or Snapchat will remain unaffected. It’s just that when an app requires you to pull a video or photo, it will launch the pre-installed camera app instead of a third-party app.

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