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Green light on your Android phone means you’re being recorded


Spot this on your phone? It means the camera is being used (Picture: Google / Android)

Google has added a handy indicator to its Android OS to let you know when the camera and microphone are in use.

If you’ve updated to the latest version of Android, which came out in October 2021, you may spot it.

The green indicator appears in the top right corner of your phone’s display and is activated when an app is using either the camera or the mic.

It serves as a warning to users to be mindful of what parts of the phone an app has access to. Apple introduced a similar indicator to iOS last year.

If you want to dig further into what apps are doing in the background, you can look at a new Privacy Dashboard in your phone’s Settings menu.

Google’s new Privacy Dashboard will give you an overview of the privacy settings on your phone (Google)

And if you’d rather disable access to the microphone and camera on your phone, you can do that too via the Quick Settings.

‘The new OS includes a Privacy Dashboard where you will see a timeline of when apps accessed your camera, microphone, or device location,’ Google announced earlier this year.

‘We’ve also added indicators that show when your camera or microphone are in use, as well as easy toggles to disable access to both across your device. And you can now choose to share your approximate location with an app instead of a precise one.’

You’ll find the camera and mic indicator in the top right hand side of the screen – you can also disable it from the Quick Settings (Google)

Of course, just because the indicators are lit up on your phone screen, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad is happening. It just serves as a reminder that something or someone is watching and listening to you at that moment.

When Google announced Android 12 back in the summer, the company called it ‘the biggest design change in Android’s history’.

Alongside the aforementioned privacy changes, much of the differences focus on ‘personalisation’ and a slicker user interface.

You’ll find new animations and greater customisation tools available to users from the get go.

The only drawback is that the fragmentation of Android means not all phones will have access to Android 12 yet. The likes of Google’s Pixel phones should have it, as well as some devices made by Samsung, OnePlus and Oppo.


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