back to article I/O, I/O, new Android soon on show: What's coming up at Google's dev conference

At its upcoming I/O event, Google will almost certainly lift the lid on the latest version of Android – which will most likely be called Android 11 after Mountain View called time on its dessert-themed nomenclature last year. Although the headline features remain under wraps, there have been a few leaks that point towards …

  1. Immenseness
    Big Brother

    Privacy Optional

    I suppose it is too much to hope that we will be able to scan wifi access points to see if we are on the home network without also being forced to enable GPS first so that big G can see exactly where where we (and whatever access points are within range) are?

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Privacy Optional

      Turn location off? I only ever have it on when I need it.

      1. Immenseness

        Re: Privacy Optional

        If you want to check which Wifi points are available, they introduced a new permission you have to allow first, because "nefarious apps" can use that info to get your location. So far so sensible.

        Pie "improved" on that sensible measure by also requiring you to physically turn on GPS as well as allow the permission before you can look at the wifi, which imho is all about data gathering and not enhancing user security/privacy in any way, as it is claimed. In fact it is quite the reverse.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Privacy Optional

          Are we talking about different things then? I'm on Pie and in wifi settings I can see available networks without needing to enable location. Whether apps can get available networks listings and what permissions they need for that I have no idea.

          1. Immenseness

            Re: Privacy Optional

            Yes we are talking about different things - I'm not talking about what you can see on the phone but the behaviour of apps.

            Some apps DavX for example, used to look at the SSID and if it is not the home network, don't bother trying to connect to local servers. Now you can't use this feature unless you not only give the app the permission to use location (reasonable) but actually enable GPS for everything all the time as well (not reasonable).

            For a better explanation see here https://www.davx5.com/faq/wifi-ssid-restriction-location-permission

            1. ibmalone Silver badge

              Re: Privacy Optional

              Ah, thanks. You can see how it might have ended up like that by accident. Then again, this is the company whose streetview cars were collecting everybody's SSID by "accident".

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Privacy Optional

          "turn on GPS as well as allow the permission before you can look at the wifi"

          It's both bollocks and a shameless data grab.

          My phone, S9, running Android 8.something. Google Files app. Refuses to entertain the idea that WiFi exists unless GPS is switched on.

          The exact same APK installed on my cheapo tablet, running Android Go 8.something, cannot ask for GPS, there isn't any. So it looks for WiFi and generally just does what it ought to do.

          Thus, there's no actual need to have the WiFi permission. It's probably only there as a hidden way of matching up SSIDs with location.

      2. IGotOut

        Re: Privacy Optional

        "Turn location off? I only ever have it on when I need it."

        Are you sure on that?

        https://apnews.com/828aefab64d4411bac257a07c1af0ecb/AP-Exclusive:-Google-tracks-your-movements,-like-it-or-not

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Privacy Optional

          Yes, storing time-stamped location data in defiance of user preference is not the same as being able to access location when the location service is disabled altogether. Empirically I know battery use is lower when I've got it turned off (which is one reason I do so). It's possible they're elaborately spoofing that of course.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Privacy Optional

      I think it was available already in version 9 with wifi scanning enabled - of course it will be used to map all wifi networks it finds as you move... I also found Android Auto - which is not yet capable of making an hands-free call or read incoming SMS without issues - trying to enable wifi to ensure Google can get the data....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    can I have

    my bootloader unlocked, so that I can install Android 7 first?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's some catching up...

    "modify the behaviour of Airplane Mode so it doesn't automatically disconnect Bluetooth when activated."

    Seriously?!

    Who uses tethered headphones still?

    Anon as I've been using bluetooth headphones since, well, Sony Ericsson's from the early naughties.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: That's some catching up...

      I haven't been required to use airplane mode on an airplane in the cruising phase for many years.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: That's some catching up...

        Flight mode, disable Mobile Data, keep WiFi on for flights that allow streaming of IFE movies &\or internet access & BT for the wireless NC headphones (They really are a godsend in server room, not many at 36,000 feet though).

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: That's some catching up...

      > Who uses tethered headphones still?

      I do. I prefer them by a large margin.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: That's some catching up...

      "Who uses tethered headphones still?"

      Me.

      When I'm on break at work, I wear Bluetooth headphones so I can move around.

      However when I'm lying in or on bed on a miserable rainy weekend marathoning a series on Netflix/Prime, the last damn thing I want is to hear "ker-dong!" partway through and need to stop so the headphones can get a charge. If mobility isn't required, wired is better.

      Not having a 3.5mm hole is a deal breaker to me. And no, I don't need a USB dongle because I'm betting anything they don't support pass-through to let you charge the phone at the same time. What am I supposed to do, two rubber bands and one of those Qi gizmos?

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    What's coming up at Google's dev conference

    Special announcement from Google: every new project that we launch will come with a little countdown clock. This clock will tell you how long remains until we get bored of the project and decide to shutter it. Because we will. Trust me. Watch the clock.

  5. HandleAlreadyTaken

    I/O, I/O, new Android soon

    This really makes me think of Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! for some reason...

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