Android 11 Is Taking Away the Camera Picker, Forcing People


Android 11 Is Taking Away the Camera Picker, Forcing People To Only Use the Built-In Camera – Slashdot

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×135069185 storyAndroid Google Operating Systems Privacy Security Software

Posted by BeauHD from the upsetting-changes dept.

In the name of security and privacy, Google istaking away the ability for users to select third-party camera apps in Android 11, forcing users to rely on the built-in camera app. Android Police reports:At the heart of this change is one of the defining traits of Android: the Intent system. Let’s say you need to take a picture of a novelty coffee mug to sell through an auction app. Since the auction app wasn’t built for photography, the developer chose to leave that up to a proper camera app. This where the Intent system comes into play. Developers simply create a request with a few criteria and Android will prompt users to pick from a list of installed apps to do the job.

However, things are going to change with Android 11 for apps that ask for photos or videos. Three specific intents will cease to work like they used to, including: VIDEO_CAPTURE, IMAGE_CAPTURE, and IMAGE_CAPTURE_SECURE. Android 11 will now automatically provide the pre-installed camera app to perform these actions without ever searching for other apps to fill the role. Google describes the change in a list of new behaviors in Android 11, and further confirmed it in the Issue Tracker. Privacy and security are cited as the reason, but there’s no discussion about what exactly made those intents dangerous. Perhaps some users were tricked into setting a malicious camera app as the default and then using it to capture things that should have remained private.

Not only does Android 11 take the liberty of automatically launching the pre-installed camera app when requested, it also prevents app developers from conveniently providing their own interface to simulate the same functionality. I ran a test with some simple code to query for the camera apps on a phone, then ran it on devices running Android 10 and 11 with the same set of camera apps installed. Android 10 gave back a full set of apps, but Android 11 reported nothing, not even Google’s own pre-installed Camera app.

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