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Android 11 is taking away the camera picker to limit potential geotag hijacking

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Android may have started with the mantra that developers are allowed to do anything as long as they can code it, but things have changed over the years as security and privacy became higher priorities. Every major update over the last decade has shuttered features or added restrictions in the name of protecting users, but some sacrifices may not have been entirely necessary. Another Android 11 trade-off has emerged, this time taking away the ability for users to select third-party camera apps to take pictures or videos on behalf of other apps, forcing users to rely only on the built-in camera app.

At the heart of this change is one of the defining traits of Android: the Intent system. Let’s say you need to take a picture of a novelty coffee mug to sell through an auction app. Since the auction app wasn’t built for photography, the developer chose to leave that up to a proper camera app. This where the Intent system comes into play. Developers simply create a request with a few criteria and Android will prompt users to pick from a list of installed apps to do the job.

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