It’s been a few weeks since the first beta of Android 12 was released, and the Android development team is ready with the second beta. Android 12 Beta 2 adds new privacy features and continues to refine the release.
The Privacy Dashboard is a new tool that will provide users with more insight into what data apps access. It shows a timeline view of recent app accesses to microphone, camera, and location. Users will also be able to request information from an app on why it accessed certain data. Developers can provide this information through a new system intent: ACTION_VIEW_PERMISSION_USAGE_FOR_PERIOD.
The Android development team is recommending developers utilize this intent and use the Data Auditing APIs to help track access in code and third-party libraries.
Android 12 Beta 2 also adds indicators for when an app is using the microphone or camera. Users will be able to go to Quick Settings to learn which apps are accessing the microphone or camera and manage those permissions.
It also added toggles in Quick Settings on certain devices to make it easy to instantly disable access to the microphone or camera. If the toggles are turned off, any app trying to access the microphone or camera will receive a blank camera and audio feed.
Users will also get more insight into what apps are reading from the clipboard. Anytime an app calls getPrimaryClip(), a toast, which is a popup notification in Android, will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. The team clarified that the toast won’t be shown if the clipboard was copied from within the same app.
And finally, the team has been working to provide a more simple and intuitive connectivity experience across the Status Bar, Quick Settings, and Settings. Users will be able to use the new Internet Panel to easily switch between Internet providers and more easily troubleshoot issues.
Android 12 is expected to achieve platform stability with Beta 4 in August. Beta 3 can be expected sometime in June or July, according to the Android 12 release timeline.