Google is ramping up its security and privacy features with the Pixel 6. The company showed off new security hub and privacy dashboard features that will make it easier to control important settings.
The security hub provides an at-a-glance overview of security settings, such as whether or not your phone has the latest security updates installed or if you’ve set a fingerprint or PIN to unlock your device. Importantly, it can also keep tabs on the apps you’ve installed and can identify ones that are potentially “harmful.” At the top of the security hub is an indicator that will alert users if any settings need attention. A green checkmark indicates all is well, while a yellow exclamation mark will appear if something needs to be addressed.
Google also showed off new indicators to make it easier to tell when an app is using the phone’s camera or microphone feeds. Much like the notifications in iOS, an indicator will light up at the top right corner of the display when the phone’s mic or camera feeds are in use, and users will have the ability to kill access for specific apps.
Likewise, the new privacy dashboard makes it easier to track which data apps have access to and how each app is using its permissions to access information like location data. As with the security hub, Google has previously made much of this information available within Android already, but it was often buried several layers into the settings menu, so having it all in a single dashboard should make it easier for most users to find.
Google also said it’s beefed up its anti-spam and phishing protection features, and Pixel 6 will be able to provide warnings when it detects potential shady phone calls, texts, emails and links.
It’s not yet clear if or when the company plans to bring these features to more devices than just its Pixel lineup. The company said during its event that the privacy dashboard and security hub would be “coming first” to Pixel, so the features could eventually make their way to more Android devices in the future.
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