Goodbye to the freedom to choose the camera in Android 11

Android 11 is going to make people use only the device's built-in ...

One of the strengths of Android is interoperability between applications. If an application requires access to a resource and there are several applications capable of providing it, the system will ask us which one we prefer. It can be an email (we choose a mail application), open a file (we choose the file application), or the camera.

The possibility of choosing a camera when taking a photo gives us the freedom to choose whether we prefer to use the system camera or one that we have installed. Or allowed, because in Android 11 it will no longer be possible.

Android 11 against third-party cameras
One of the latest changes in Android 11, as pointed out by Android Police, is the removal of the camera choice menu. This is because, in Android 11, camera intents, actions that allow you to open other applications to collect information, disappear.

Initially, as it was a beta version, it was reported as an error. However, Google's engineering team has indicated that it is not a bug, it is expected behavior. This has been his message:



«Yes, it is working as expected. If an application wants to use third-party cameras to handle its intent, they have the option of setting an explicit package or component (Intent # set class name/set package / setComponent).

We believe that limiting it is an appropriate counterpart to protect the privacy and security of users. 

It is not the first time that in Android we lose options that offer freedom and flexibility in exchange for security. But is it true that limiting camera app usage can offer a privacy boost?

Usually no, but depending on the camera there is a risk that it may take information from the photographs you have taken. Only Google knows if this happens and how often. However, change seems inevitable given that leaving it unchanged can be a problem.

He also pursues an advantage
Some time ago, Google introduced CameraX, a project that allows us to integrate the factory camera experience directly from each application. the camera has a great benefit, and that is that it abstracts the developer from having to invent a camera application. When the application requires to use the camera, CameraX will invoke the system camera and take what it needs.

The use of cameras is recommended by the applications and it does provide an extra quality in the camera, while we make sure that you are using the correct technology.

Does this mean that we won't be able to use other cameras?
The Android limitation does not aim to eliminate alternative Android cameras, but rather to prevent applications from accessing them, considering them a bad practice. Fortunately, camera applications are not going anywhere, and you can continue to use applications like GCam on a day-to-day basis without any problems.

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