Android 12 is taking privacy seriously with a new dashboard and more

Android 12 security
(Image credit: Google)

Google is unveiling a whole swath of Android 12 features, but key among is them is a new privacy focus. Likely inspired by Apple's new stance in iOS 14.5, Android 12 will include some new features centered around giving you control over what apps can and can't do, to a degree.

There's still no app tracking management here and I don't think we'll ever see that feature on an Android phone (at least one running Google Play Services). Even so, Android 12 is a step in the right direction. There's a new privacy dashboard where you can see what apps have accessed what permission on a nice, easy-to-read timeline.

Android 12 introduces a new indicator for when an app is using the mic and camera, and you can temporarily revoke those permissions for all apps if you want thanks to two new button in the Quick Settings. 

Google IO 2021 Android 12

(Image credit: Google)

Furthermore, Google highlighted the private compute core in its OS, which operates a lot of AI driven features locally on the phone. Think Smart Reply, where your phone does the lifting, but it never touches your personal info. Everything (within reason) stays on your phone.

Android 12 not only looks pretty with its new interface changes, but it'll be a huge step in the right direction for privacy. 

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.