Android 11 is going to make people use only the device’s built-in camera | Tech News

Android 11 is going to make people use only the device’s built-in camera

Say goodbye to the camera picker, Android 11 is going to force people to use only the device’s built-in camera. 

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 22:30 IST
Android 11 is taking away the ability for users to select third-party camera apps to take pictures or videos on the behalf of other apps, making users rely only on the built-in camera app on the device.
Android 11 is taking away the ability for users to select third-party camera apps to take pictures or videos on the behalf of other apps, making users rely only on the built-in camera app on the device. (Pocket-Lint)

Android's initial mantra might have been to allow developers to do anything as long as they could code it, but no longer. With security and privacy becoming more vital over time, the last decade has seen major updates shutting down features or adding restrictions to apps to protect users.

The latest on that list is a feature in Android 11 that's taking away the ability for users to select third-party camera apps to take pictures or videos on the behalf of other apps, making users rely only on the built-in camera app on the device.

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As Android Police puts it, at the heart of this change is one of Android's most defining traits - the “Intent system”.

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For example, if you need to take a picture to post on an app that is not built for photography, the developer of that app would have to rely on the on-device camera app to do the work. With the Intent system, developers could simply create a request with a few criteria in place and Android would prompt users to pick from a list of installed apps that can take photos to do the job.

Now that's going to change with Android 11 for apps that ask for photos or videos.

Android Police reports that three specific intents on Android will cease to work like they used to - video capture, image capture and secure image capture. Android 11 will automatically provide the pre-installed camera app to perform these actions without offering users a chance to pick any other app for it.

Google has mentioned this change in a list of new behaviours coming in with Android 11 and this also confirmed by Issue Tracker. Google cites privacy and security as the main reasons behind this but does not mention why exactly it is dangerous. It might be possible that some users might have been tricked into using a malicious camera app as the default and ended up using it to capture photos or videos that should have been private.

But that's not all. Not only does Android 11 take away the option of automatically launching the pre-installed camera app when requested, but it also prevents app developers from providing their own interface to simulate the same functionality, not even Google's own pre-installed Camera app, according to reports.

This new behaviour can be spotted on the current Android 11 beta release and on any app that needs the camera but does not have its own and is going to be the standard going forward, in all likelihood.

While this certainly isn't much of a problem as many users already use the built-in camera app by default anyway, but it will make things transparent. Most apps will still let users upload photos from the gallery so they can use other camera apps if they want. 

But it's bad news for those who click photos with filters or those who rely on G Cam ports to replace their stock camera. There are some apps though that do not allow for different workflows so that means you are stuck with the default camera app only.

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First Published Date: 19 Aug, 08:35 IST
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