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Android 11 will force apps to use built-in camera app, ignore 3rd-party defaults

Android 11 has a lot of changes for good, but as we approach release some minor changes are starting to come to light that some users won’t be very happy with. Starting in Android 11, for instance, users won’t be able to select a default camera app in certain scenarios.

On an official issue tracker thread, Google confirmed (via Android Police) that Android 11 is ditching the default camera app selector. Instead of being able to download a third-party camera app from the Play Store and use that as a complete replacement, users will be stuck with whatever is pre-loaded on their device in many scenarios.

Default apps have been a core part of Android for a while with users able to tell the system what homescreen, email, browser, and various other apps they want to use for specific actions. Honestly, we’re shocked Google is limiting this, but the company says its reasoning is that this move will help “protect the privacy and security” of Android users.

Here’s the good news, though. This doesn’t apply everywhere. When apps on your smartphone want to pull from the camera, they’ll be forced to use the stock camera app on your devices. Examples for this include the likes of Reddit, Google Keep, and countless others. Instagram, Twitter, and others, though, would still be able to use their built-in camera apps.

However, hardware shortcuts like the handy double-tap power button will still allow you to select a default camera app as usual. Personally, that’s the big deal for me.

I can still set a default camera app on Android 11 when using Pixel’s double-tap shortcut

Still, despite that good news, it’s likely that this will either lengthen or break the workflows of some apps.

Google hasn’t listed exact reasons why they’re making this change, but it’s not super difficult to imagine where apps could potentially have abused this functionality in the past. It’s also unclear at the moment if this will be a required change in Android 11 on all devices or if OEMs will be able to modify it.

More on Android 11:

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