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This article was published on April 14, 2021


Leaked Android 12 features hint at iOS-style clipboard and location permissions

In this house, we don't say "copied."

Leaked Android 12 features hint at iOS-style clipboard and location permissions
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Last year, Apple introduced some neat privacy-focused features in iOS 14 such as a notification pop-up when your mic, camera, or clipboard is accessed, and granular location controls.

Now, leaked Android 12 screenshots indicate that Google might bring some of these features to the upcoming version of its mobile OS.. Mishaal Rahman and his team at XDA Developers have got their hands on an unreleased Android 12 version that uncovers plenty of new features, including enhanced privacy controls.

The report noted that the upcoming version will have a “Show clipboard access” toggle in privacy settings. If enabled, it’ll show you a notification indicating that an app is accessing your clipboard. In iOS, the toast notification for clipboard access appears on the top. In Android’s upcoming version, it might appear on top of your keyboard.

Credit: XDA Developers
Leaked Android 12 screenshot showing toast notification for clipboard access

XDA Developers’ report also notes that Android 12 brings granular location controls that will allow you to give out only an approximate location to apps that request it.

Most apps need a location for verification that you’re in a particularregion or a city (say, to determine if a shopping app delivers in your area); for those purposes you don’t need to give out your precise location. The leaked screenshot also indicates that you’ll be able to choose between precise and approximate location permission when the app first asks for it. This is a bit better than iOS where you need to switch off the precise location toggle inside an app’s settings.

Credit: XDA Developers
Android 12 will offer a choice to give out an approximate location to an app

A leak that appeared in February suggested that Android 12 will also have iOS-like notifications for when an app accesses your camera or microphone. However, the new version might bring its own privacy goodies such as a kill switch for all sensors on the phone, and advanced notification controls.

We’ll have to wait till Android 12’s final release in September to see if all these features will reach next-gen phones.

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