With iOS 14, Apple introduced privacy indicators to notify users when an app accesses the phone’s camera or mic in the background. However, Google is yet to implement the feature on Android. But thanks to third-party developers, Android users, too, can now get notified when an app secretly uses the phone’s camera. Here’s how you can get privacy indicators on any Android smartphone.
Get Notified When An App Secretly Uses Your Android Phone’s Camera
As you’d acknowledge, Android isn’t as restrictive as iOS. And that’s the reason you can do a lot on it using third-party apps. But that also puts it at a privacy risk since you never know which apps are using your camera or microphone to listen to you in the background. The very thought of it sounds very creepy, and anyone concerned about privacy would get conscious.
With permission controls, Android does give you the ability to control what apps have access to your camera and microphone. But then again, wouldn’t it be better if someone notifies you whenever an app uses your camera hardware or microphone? Sounds better than playing with permissions, right?
To get iOS 14-styled privacy indicators, all you need to is install a third-party app, as follows:
- Install Access Dots on your Android device from Google Play Store. Note that the app works only on Android 7.0 or above.
- Open the app. Grant it Accessibility permissions so that it can display over other apps.
- Once you have granted permission, open the app, and enable the service toggle.
That’s it. The app has now been enabled on your phone. Whenever an app uses your phone’s camera or microphone in the background, the app will notify you of the same by showing a green dot (for the camera) and an orange dot (for the mic) at the top right corner.
You can change the dot’s color and position based on your liking, but it requires you to pay for the Dev pack. That said, the good thing is that it maintains a record of apps that have accessed your mic or camera along with the date and time.
Note: If you’re using phones with custom skins like MIUI, EMUI, or ColorOS, make sure to add Privacy Indicators to the ‘Do Not Optimize’ list so that it doesn’t get killed in the background.
This was all about how you can get notified when an app uses your phone’s camera or microphone. We hope you’ll now feel more secure and confident while using the apps on your phone. Have any questions? Please reach out via comments below. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on Android.