Google I/O 2022 kicks off today at 1 p.m ET / 11 a.thousand. PT / 6 p.m. BST. It’s a big event for fans of Android and Google’due south other suite of software products. This is where we hear about Google’s plans for the next year around its portfolio and y’all can follow it all with us in our Google I/O 2022 live web log.
So equally we stand up on the cusp of the full Android xiii reveal, I’m left with one called-for desire. While I like the changes thus far, such as to permissions and the forthcoming iOS-like photo picker, I desire to hear about Google’s opinion on tertiary-party app tracking. Bluntly, I want Android to have a total page out of Apple’s playbook.
Android doesn’t have the greatest reputation when information technology comes to privacy and tracking. Google collects a ton of information well-nigh you and, as far equally I know, third-party apps tin do the same thing to bottom degrees, fifty-fifty when you’re not using that app specifically. Apple tree, while all the same collecting heaps of information, put a difficult stop to this third-party nonsense with iOS xiv.five’s App Tracking initiative.
Information technology’s non perfect, but you can basically tell apps to non rails you across the rest of the system. The sense of satisfaction when y’all get to tell an app, in no uncertain terms, “No” is downright thrilling. Since iOS 14.5, the best iPhones have fostered the reputation for having stronger privacy features while Android has lagged behind.
I don’t necessarily disagree with the stance that Google tin be creepy, and it’southward unfortunate that the feeling persists throughout the whole of Android. However, Google could turn this around by introducing App Tracking controls to Android 13. I highly doubt it’ll happen, but I all the same hope to hear almost further privacy controls at the keynote today.
Information technology’s all well and good to have the Android Private Compute Cadre or the privacy dashboard, just unless yous put a system-level limit on what data third-political party apps can collect, you risk letting Android languish as an OS that doesn’t value or prioritize a user’s privacy.
I beloved Android, but the stronger user-facing privacy features on my iPhone 13 Pro Max get a long way to keeping me on Apple’due south platform. Android at its cadre is a solid open source operating system, and you could probably build your own version that has its own App Tracking built in (and exit out the Google services if you want extra privacy). I’one thousand not a programmer, so that’s speculation. But where there’south a will, there’s a mode in the open source community.
However, in that location’s a fundamental difference betwixt Google’southward business organisation model and Apple’s. The former is a software company first, ane that provides free products where the cost you lot pay is your data. Apple is a hardware company beginning and a software company second, meaning it doesn’t demand to rely on selling your data to make a buck. (Don’t fall into the supposition that iPhones don’t runway yous or send a ton of info back to Apple, despite the company’south rhetoric.) Therefore, I won’t deny that instituting an App Tracking initiative into Android could hurt Google’s bottom line.
And so, Google, you lot may non have this ready for Android 13 and I understand that, only please tell usa what privacy steps you’re taking with Android going forrard. I respect the new permissions and I’m excited to get more granular control over what my apps can access, merely I want to see a difficult stance on this topic.
At that place are things iOS can learn from Android, but there are also things that Apple tree can teach Google. In this case, iOS has a articulate atomic number 82 and I desire to see Google close the gap.