Android 12 could come with a new mode that restricts networking features: Report

Google is expected to start the rollout of its Android 12 Developer Preview next month. The codebase for Android 12 isn’t public as of now, however, XDA Developers while digging through Android Open Source Project (AOSP) found some commits that provide hints for the features we will get to see in the next release.

According to the report, there are a few commits merged to AOSP, describing a new restricted networking mode feature. The new restricted networking mode feature is a new firewall chain, with a set of rules that the Linux iptables utility follows to allow or block network traffic.

Basically, when the new feature is activated from within the settings, apps that have access to the right permissions will be allowed to use the network. Take note, the permission can only be granted to system applications and or to applications signed by the OEM.

After the feature is rolled out, none of the user installed apps will be able to send or receive data in the background. All of the data will be routed through the privileged Google Play Services or apps that hold the required permissions.

XDA Developers state that it is not yet known where the toggle for the restricted networking mode will be placed inside of Android 12. However, it does state that the mode can be toggled at runtime and programmatically queried via a shell command.

It is not known if Google will allow users to make their own list of apps with restricted networking access. However, allowing users to do so will provide them with more granular control of their device. And that is what is expected from an open-source software like Android.

To recall, Google is expected to launch Android 12 in September, considering the fact that its past two predecessors were launched during that month. Before that Google used to follow an August release schedule.

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