New Android P Commit Suggests Idle Apps Will Have No Camera Access

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Based on a new commit found in the Android code review repository, it looks like Android P is going to have a significant security improvement built into it.  The commit suggests that idle apps will no longer have access to the camera and it looks like it will be universal across all apps.

If a UID is idle (being in the background for more than cartain (sp) amount of time) it should not be able to use the camera. If the UID becomes idle we generate an eror (sp) and close the cameras for this UID. If an app in an idle UID tries to use the camera we immediately generate an error. Since apps already should handle these errors it is safe to apply this policy to all apps to protect user privacy.

Today, a rogue app could access your camera without you knowing, even if that app is running in the background.

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New Android P Commit Suggests Carriers Will Be Able to Change LTE Signal Bars

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A new commit in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit suggests that a change could be coming to the LTE signal bars in Android P.  The commit suggest that carriers would be able to manipulate how this is displayed on devices to be more specific to them an not quite as generic as they are today.

Before the conspiracy theorists out there start to percolate, let’s be clear:  The carriers would not be able to hide the signal strength bars nor manipulate them in a why that gives false information.  Google doesn’t allow that to happen already and has reinforced it with other commits for Android P.  No, this change would give carriers the ability to change how the LTE bars are displayed to be more accurate for their coverage in a specific area.

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New Android Commit Suggests Android P is Nearing Developer Preview 1

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Reading much into code commits in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit is risky business, much like it is for the Chromium Gerrit for Chrome OS.  But it all indications are that the next major release of Android, Android P, is getting ready to hit the Developer Preview 1 stage.

A new commit simply states The future is now (2018 edition) and diving deeper into the platform Bionic, there is complete file structure that suggests everything is ready for a build of Android P to be completed.

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Google I/O 2018 Tickets Go On Sale February 22nd

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If you are aiming to get to Google I/O 2018, your first important date is February 22nd. That is when ticket sales begin at 10:00 AM Pacific which is more-or-less a ticket into the lottery to be selected.

The lottery system has been the method Google has used for the past several years as there are always far more developers interested in attending than there is space for them to attend. To attempt to make it fair, you sign up starting the 22nd and if you are selected, you complete your registration. That is, you pay for your ticket.

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Google Appears to be Set to Block Hidden APIs in Android P

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While we are still a few months away from seeing a developer preview, work is steadily going happening on Android P.  There is one change however that could impact developers who are accessing hidden APIs in Android.  It looks like access to them is going to be blocked in P.

A new commit in the Android Release gerrit suggests that access to hidden APIs will be blocked, forcing developers to use the approved APIs in the release.

The following patch enforces the hidden API blacklist, preventing access to boot class path methods/fields marked by the `hiddenapi` tool using static linking, reflection and JNI.

This could require some developers to rework their apps if they want them to work on Android P.

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Commit Refers to Upcoming Android P as Pi

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Let the Android P name guessing begin!  It is 2018 and while Google hasn’t firmly committed that there will be a version 9.0 of Android, it is pretty much a given that we will see it late this year and likely will see the first beta builds as soon as May, around Google I/O.

The question, as it is every year, is what will the official name of Android P be when it is released?  Well, we may have gotten a hint.  Or not.  Who knows?  There is a new commit in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) Gerrit that refers to “Pi”, which is likely the internal name for Android v9.0.

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HMD Global Confirms that Android P will Come to All Nokia Phones

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HMD Global, the company that owns the rights to the Nokia name, has confirmed that all of their current devices will be getting updated to Android P when it is available in 2018.  It is a bold statement given that the company is just now starting to roll out Android Oreo to the Nokia 8, their flagship.

The announcement came during the Nokia 8 launch event held in the Philippines yesterday and it was made clear it would be not just for the 8, but for the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 too.

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