Explained: What are tiny green dots on Android smartphones and why are they important - Times of India

Explained: What are tiny green dots on Android smartphones and why are they important – Times of India

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Google launched the Android 12 mobile operating system last year. The Android version is available for download on compatible smartphones. The new OS features notable design changes along with privacy updates. One of the key features that Google introduced with Android 12 are the tiny green dots on the screen as well as in the notification bar. The tiny dots visible at the top of the screen are Privacy Indicators aimed to alert users about apps using camera, mic, location and more on your phone’s hardware without you noticing.
What are these Privacy Indicators
Privacy indicators let you know when any app is using or used certain sensors on your smartphone. The feature is quite similar to the privacy feature introduced by Apple a few years ago. Privacy indicators show a pop-up at the top of the screen whenever any application is using the camera or microphone. It is worth noting that the Android 12 will only show you the alert when the app is accessing the camera or microphone in the background.
At first, the indicator shows either a microphone icon or a camera icon to let you know about the background usage of sensors. After a few seconds, the icon is replaced by a tiny greed dot to free-up space from the screen. The green dot remains in the notification bar as long as the sensor is in use by an app in the background.
You can easily identify which app is using the mic or camera by swiping down from the notification bar. Once you tap on the mic or camera icon, you will be able to see which app is using or recently accessed the features. You can also restrict permissions granted to the app by tapping on its name in the notifications bar.
Privacy Indicators are enabled by default in Android 12 and you do not have to change any settings to use this privacy feature. This feature can also be used on older Android versions through various apps that can be found on Google Play Store. However, these apps require a couple of permissions to manage the information shared with other apps.
Apart from this, Android 12 also offers a Privacy Dashboard tool that in addition with Privacy Indicators can boost the security of data on your smartphone.
What is a Privacy Dashboard
Privacy Dashboard is a tool that can be found in the Settings app of smartphones running on Android 12. The tool tells users how the apps on their smartphone are accessing the sensitive information. It also helps users to limit the amount of information shared with certain apps. The Dashboard allows users to look for specific types of features such as Location or Camera. It shows a timeline that tells about the apps that have been accessing that feature and when. To know how to access Privacy Dashboard on your Android 12 smartphone, you can follow these steps:

  • Open Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap on Privacy.
  • Tap on the Privacy Dashboard at the top of the screen



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