O Android 13 It’s been with us since August. One of its novelties is a selector that allows an application to have access to some photos, but not to the entire gallery. This is a good privacy boost, so much so that Google decided to bring the feature to other versions. Now until the Android 4.4 KitKat have access to it.
Not that Google has “resurrected” old versions of the platform. In fact, the company has managed to make the Android 13 media picker a feature of Google Play Services, a mechanism that is not only targeted at the latest version of the operating system.
O Google Play Services is software that connects applications to Google services. If your cell phone or tablet already comes standard with Gmail, YouTube, Chrome and the Play Store, for example, this mechanism is there.
Every month, the company releases a set of updates for its ecosystem, including Google Play Services. It was on November 2022 update that the image picker has been included in this engine. With this, support for the feature is now available in all versions of the system up to Android 4.4.
Enhancement for privacy
When the selector has been announced for Android 13, Google explained that the feature protects the user’s photo and video privacy. It makes sense. If you need to open a photo in a social networking application, for example, you must authorize access to the entire image gallery. With the selector it is different.
The tool works as a kind of intermediary. Instead of the app having access to the entire media gallery, the selector is triggered to do this job. It is up to him to deliver the images selected by the user to the application in question. The following animation shows this action:
Interesting, no? But there is a problem. As the resource is new, adherence to it is practically nil. On the other hand, as the media selector is no longer an exclusive feature of Android 13, there is an expectation that its adoption will gain strength in the coming months.
It’s easy to understand the logic behind this. With the selector working via Google Play Services, a very large number of devices now have access to the feature, not just new models. So developers tend to be more interested in implementing it.
An example comes from home. Google Voice is one of the first (if not the first) apps to support the picker.
With information: Android Police.