How to know if an app secretly uses the microphone or the camera of the mobile

Don’t let them spy on you: find out which apps use your mobile’s microphone or camera without you knowing.

Google has spent years working to improve Android through improvements focused on better management of user privacy, mainly through the fact of giving users greater control over the permissions that apps used to operate. But it is not always enough. On certain occasions, device users may want to go further and know at any time if some apps are secretly “spying” on them.

For this, a good solution was the one implemented by Apple in iOS 14, which consists of display a light whenever an app is accessing the phone’s microphone or front camera, in the same way that devices like the MacBook have been doing for years. And, despite the fact that Android does not include this function directly in the system, it is possible replicate it through a free tool.

Find out which apps use the microphone or camera in real time

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Do apps spy on you? You can easily find out thanks to a free app

The app in question is Access Dots, which we talked about in more detail a few days ago. It is a totally free application that simulates the operation of the recording notifications of iOS 14. In this way, it shows an orange dot in the notification bar when an app is using the microphone, or one Green color when an app uses the device’s camera.

As usual, these indicators appear After having installed the app it does not have to be something negative: in most cases, the icons will appear because the applications that access these components need it to be able to work. However, it can be a good way to discover if any app takes advantage of the permissions that have been granted.

That being said, for use Access Dots on your mobile and know if an app secretly uses the microphone or camera of your mobile, you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Install the Access Dots app on your mobile.

  2. Open the app and activate the switch that will appear on the initial screen.

  3. The app will request accessibility permissions to be able to “draw” the points on the other applications. You can grant them on the permissions screen that will open automatically.

  4. Go back to the application and, if you want, modify the colors of the recording warning points.

That’s it. With the application already activated, the next time any of the applications installed on your device decides to access the microphone or camera of your mobile, you will see an indicator of the color you have chosen in the system status bar. Note that it is possible to modify the size and position of these indicators, although for this you will have to donate to the developer through payments in-app available in Access Dots.

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