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In this day and age, privacy is a major concern, so it's comforting when companies take a proactive approach. Last month we saw what Google's upcoming privacy indicators are likely to look like in Android 12, and we're now seeing live evidence with Developer Preview 2.
Developer @kdrag0n was able to dig into the software and enable the redesigned indicators, which now sit inside a green pill for better visibility. Tapping on the pill reveals which apps currently have access to the microphone, camera, and location — the last one isn't working at the moment, though.
This is what it looks like with location, camera, and microphone all active at the same time. Unfortunately, location doesn't show up in the app usage details (yet). pic.twitter.com/GyzqEf1mNr
— kdrag0n (@kdrag0n) March 19, 2021
While the developer doesn't show how these indicators will look in the status bar when the notification panel is shut, last month's report sheds light on this. When an app starts using the camera, microphone, or location, we might see an expanded pill at first, which will then shrink to a colored dot right next to the status indicators for battery and networks.
As is the case with any feature we see in these early developer previews, there's a chance that this may not make it to the final build of Android 12. But given its importance and that iOS 14 already has a similar feature, it's more likely to ship than not. What could make Google's implementation better than Apple's is how easy it is to access more information — iOS requires you to head to the settings to see exactly what's going on.
For more about Android 12, check out our ongoing series coverage here, or bookmark our regularly updated changelog and check back in later. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.