According to Google’s latest announcement, Android 12 is now live in Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Although the latest rollout is technically “available” as of October 4th, the general public should not expect to see the update on their Pixel phone for at least a few more weeks. 

One of the biggest highlights from the announcement is the availability of new privacy tools located inside the Privacy Dashboard (similar to what we saw in the iOS14.5+ update). We spoke with our experts at Tinuiti to get their take on how the latest update will impact brands, users, as well as advertisers.
 

Google Announces Android 12: What is changing?

 

“Today we’re pushing the source to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and officially releasing the latest version of Android. Keep an eye out for Android 12 coming to a device near you starting with Pixel in the next few weeks and Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi devices later this year, ” Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Android Developers wrote in the announcement earlier today.

 
From the new UI to improved user experience tools, you can view the details on all Android 12 updates on the developer site.
 

Android’s Privacy Update: 5 New Features Marketers Should Know

 
At Tinuiti, our biggest area of focus is privacy and how we expect the recent changes will impact marketers and the brands we work with.

Below is a list of the latest Android 12 updates as it relates to privacy including (Source):

1. NEW Privacy Dashboard – A new dashboard in Settings will give users better visibility over when their app accesses microphone, camera, and location data. More here.

2. Approximate location – Users can grant an app access to approximate location even if it requests precise location. More here.

3. Microphone and camera indicators – Indicators in the status bar to let users know when an app is using the device camera or microphone. More here.

4. Microphone and camera toggles – On supported devices, new toggles in Quick Settings make it easy for users to instantly disable app access to the microphone and camera. More here.

5. Nearby device permissions – Allows an app to use new permissions to scan for and pair with nearby devices without needing location permission. More here.
 

Privacy Experts Chime in

 
The impact on media campaigns is “to be determined” since Android adoption is typically slower than iOS due to its fragmented nature.

According to our experts, the impact on marketers and brands will depend on the “user’s active blocking of GAID” in the new Privacy Dashboard. What we do know is across all of Google’s platforms (Chrome, Android Devices, Ads Platforms) there is a unified front on privacy, applying the same rules to align with customer needs for trust and transparency (similar to Apple across all iOS devices including iPhone, MacOS, etc.) 

“Google’s Android 12 Privacy Updates are very in line with what we’re seeing across the Ad Industry relative to privacy – from IDFA to a Cookieless World.” said Liz Emery, Senior Director of Mobile + Ad Tech Solutions at Tinuiti.

 

 

“Big Tech is in tune with what consumers want. As marketers, this is an opportunity to pivot and unlock the power of first party date, as well as make investments in cross-channel and lifecycle marketing. Consumer trust and compliance should be at the core of everything you do,” Emery says. 

 
It will be interesting to see how much Android users access the new Privacy features, especially estimated location and the Privacy Dashboard.  Historically, Google has not made privacy features a major focus, but in response to the latest shift in privacy concerns, this will likely change. 

At Tinuiti, we are actively monitoring the Android App Ads ecosystem and the impact on their identifier (the GAID) as Android 12 goes from Beta to full rollout.
 

“More privacy for consumers means less information for marketers. Marketers will need to unlock the power of their first-party data to stay ahead. With direct-to-consumer relationships becoming increasingly important, building trust and delivering better experiences, powered by data, will give smart marketers a competitive advantage.”

– Nirish Parsad, Head of Technology at Tinuiti
 
Nirish Parsad

 

Next Steps For Brands and Marketers

 
According to Google’s blog, here is a list of the top changes to test and monitor in the coming weeks:

  • Privacy dashboard — Use this new dashboard in Settings to check your app’s accesses to microphone, location, and other sensitive data, and consider providing details to users on the reasons. More here.
  • Microphone & camera indicators — Android 12 shows an indicator in the status bar when an app is using the camera or microphone. Make sure this doesn’t affect your app’s UI. More here.
  • Microphone & camera toggles — Try using the new toggles in Quick Settings to disable microphone and camera access for apps and ensure that your app handles the change properly. More here.
  • Clipboard read notification — Watch for toast notifications when your app reads data from the clipboard unexpectedly. Remove unintended accesses. More here.
  • Stretch overscroll — Try your scrolling content with the new “stretch” overscroll effect and ensure that it displays as expected. More here.
  • App splash screens — Launch your app from various flows to test the new splash screen animation. If necessary, you can customize it. More here.
  • Keygen changes — Several deprecated BouncyCastle cryptographic algorithms are removed in favor of Conscrypt versions. If your app uses a 512-bit key with AES, you’ll need to use one of the standard sizes supported by Conscrypt. More here.

 
Find out what you need to know about new restrictions, cookies, IDFA, first-party data, and all things privacy from our Tinuiti experts in “The Future of the Web” hub.

 

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