Android P Updates: Dark Theme, Privacy & Weather. Google uses the Android Issue Tracker to log and monitor bugs that are been reported by employees and the community. It also uses it to track feature requests. Recently, two were marked as “available in a future Android release”. A highly requested built-in dark mode, and a weather widget for Android’s always-on display feature. Also there is a check on the “Privacy Update” for further Android Releases.
Dark Theme Issue
Dark themes have appeared in multiple Android developer preview builds. They have yet to make their way to an official release. One of the first appeared in the Android M developer preview. It was later removed before the Android 6.0 update became public. A different incarnation appeared in the Android N developer preview, but was again removed from the official Android 7.0 Nougat release.
The feature request for a dark mode in the Issue Tracker, which was submitted in November 2017, highlights the battery life benefits for smartphones that use OLED panels. This morning, it was marked as “fixed” with the note, “our engineering team has added this feature. It will be available in a future Android release.”
Another, separate feature request submitted to the Issue Tracker last month asked that Google add a weather widget to Android’s always-on display feature. The request was passed along to the development team earlier this week, and a day later was marked as “fixed” with the note, “requested feature will be available in future Android version.”
Android’s next big update will reportedly come with a nice bit of added security. The new version, currently known as “Android P,” will apparently restrict background apps from accessing a user’s camera or microphone, according to XDA Developers.
For years, Android developers have been aware of how malicious apps could take advantage of a phone’s camera. In 2014, developer Szymon Sidor said that “almost by accident” he discovered how a closed app could access a camera and take a photo at anytime.
The Android P update would target something known as an app’s User ID (UID). Whenever an Android device downloads an app, it assigns that app a unique UID that cannot be altered. Android P would no longer allow UIDs deemed “idle” to have access to a user’s camera. Repeated attempts would generate errors.