GrapheneOS brings its camera and PDF viewer apps to the Play Store

There is certainly no shortage of camera apps on the Google Play Store. If you’ve been part of the Android ecosystem for a while, you’ve probably tried several different camera apps in addition to OEM apps. While there may be plenty to choose from, including community-favorite Google Camera ports, the vast majority of these apps are closed-source and don’t necessarily put your privacy first. Now, the team behind the privacy-focused GrapheneOS project aims to fill the void by releasing its camera app on the Google Play Store.

Nicknamed as Secure camera, the GrapheneOS camera app only takes up 5MB of space after installation. It uses Google’s Android CameraX library, so the camera app can seamlessly use vendor extensions. For example, if Samsung embeds a CameraX night mode extension in its phones, the GrapheneOS camera will be able to use it. On supported devices like the Google Pixel lineup, the pinch-to-zoom or zoom slider uses the out-of-the-box wide-angle and telephoto sensors. The app also supports scanning QR codes and barcodes.

As mentioned earlier, privacy is a major focus of GrapheneOS, so let’s talk about it. Here is a list of the privacy features present in the Secure Camera app:

  • Camera permission is the only one required.
  • Images and videos are stored using the MediaStore API, so no media and storage permissions are required.
  • Microphone permission is needed for video recording, but it can be disabled when you don’t need to record audio.
  • Location permission is only needed if location tagging has been explicitly enabled first.
  • Removal of EXIF ​​metadata for captured images is enabled by default.

Moreover, the developers have also uploaded the GrapheneOS PDF viewer app on the Play Store. Appropriately named as Secure PDF Viewer, it takes privacy to a whole new level. The base of the application is based on pdf.js and content providers. To minimize security issues, the PDF stream is fed into the sandboxed WebView without giving it access to content or files. Therefore, the application does not require any permission to operate.

We won’t see a time when a custom ROM distribution pushes all of their first-party apps to the Play Store, but it certainly makes sense for a lot of them. Using GrapheneOS’ action as an example, there’s simply no reason for them to limit main inbox app package updates to OTA updates. This results in developers taking longer to deliver bug fixes and new features to their users, which can be a big deal if someone has experienced an annoying bug or security flaw in apps.

If you are interested in these GrapheneOS apps, you can download them from the Google Play Store by following the links embedded below. For all app developers reading this, they are open The sourceso you can take a look at the codebase, submit new patches, or just compile the apps yourself.


Source: GrapheneOS on Twitter (1, 2)

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