User privacy seems to be at the top of the list for Google as the next version of Android which is being dubbed Android P will stop idle and malicious apps from hijacking your phone’s camera or recording you through the microphone.
Android Oreo already limit many background applications to protect user’s privacy but seemingly the new Android P will take a step further to make it impossible for any app to secretly record anything using your mobile device.
According to an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) commit which was spotted by XDA Developers, Android P will restrict the background apps from using the camera based on an app’s User ID (UID) which is assigned to each app when they are installed on the smartphone. UIDs are unique for each app and do not change as long as the app is present on user’s device.
These UIDs can detect when an app is sitting idle in the background and can generate an error if an inactive UID requests the camera access. Android Oreo already requires the mobile apps to notify when they are actively using the user’s camera so the Android P is basically taking complimentary measure to ensure user’s safety.
Similarly, Android P will also stop malicious apps from recording any audio secretly. When the app’s UID will enter the “idle” state (where background apps’ access to CPU and network-intensive services is restricted) the Android’s system won’t allow the app to record any audio rather it would capture just empty data.
Additionally, Android P is expected to be designed to work with iPhone X-like notch and the Google Assitant will be one of the important parts of the user interface.