Android 11 users won’t be allowed to use third-party camera apps for security concerns


Google won’t allow Android 11 users to use third-party camera apps for security concerns

Google has launched the Android 11 Beta 3 update with nothing left to go for the public release of the Android 11. With the upcoming Android 11, Google is introducing a restriction on third-party camera apps. Specifically, it’s limiting what camera apps other than the default built-in app would be able to do.

Android was known as the customizable OS as long as you can code and execute it, but Google over the years with every new update brings in certain limitations to protect the users’ privacy.

Starting in Android 11, only pre-installed system camera apps can respond to the following intent actions:


If more than one pre-installed system camera app is available, the system presents a dialog for the user to select an app. If you want your app to use a specific third-party camera app to capture images or videos on its behalf, you can make these intents explicit by setting a package name or component for the intent.


Google says this change was brought in for protecting users’ privacy as the defaulting a third-party app can steal data. Meanwhile, If you want a specific third-party camera app to handle your app’s intent, you may do so by explicitly specifying the third-party camera app’s package name to fulfill the intent. Google also clarified the reason behind this change by saying that it’s designed to preserve location data from being incorrectly processed.

The new change is enforced in at least the current Android 11 beta release, and it will happen to any apps regardless of whether they target API 30 or something lower. Apps that target Android 11 (API level 30) or higher can’t be installed if they contain compressed resources.arsc file or if this file is not aligned on a 4-byte boundary.

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.

To receive EXIF location metadata from the pre-installed system camera app when using intents that have one of the preceding intent actions, your app must declare ACCESS_MEDIA_LOCATION in addition to the ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION or ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permission.

This change does not affect users’ capability to install and use any camera app to capture images or videos directly. A user can set a third party camera app as the default camera app. This change also doesn’t affect intent actions that launch the user-specified default camera app.


What are your views on this change made by Google? Do mention in the comment section below. For more news on tech and cybersecurity stay tuned on Android Rookies by subscribing to our newsletter from here.


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