Oppo's ColorOS 12 will remove metadata from media that you share online

Sep 16, 2021
Updated • Sep 23, 2021
Mobile Computing

Oppo is one of several OEMs that participated in Google's Android 12 Developer Preview. The Chinese phone maker has announced the next iteration of its custom skin based on the latest Android version, called ColorOS 12.

Oppo ColorOS 12 will remove metadata

One of Android 12's most anticipated features is the Privacy Dashboard system, and ColorOS 12 includes all of the goodies. Your phone will display an on-screen indicator (icon) when an app is accessing your camera, mic, or GPS information. You may set apps to use your approximate location instead of the actual location.

But Oppo has tweaked the privacy controls a step further to provide an enhanced experience. The Permissions manager displays a record of apps that were able to gather sensitive data, along with the number of times the information was accessed.

Oppo ColorOS 12 privacy controls

When you share an image or video online, the metadata of the file is retained. In the wrong hands, this could mean that the location where the photo was snapped, could be exposed along with other details, such as the device used, settings, timestamp, etc. ColorOS 12 removes the metadata when you share the media, to protect your privacy.

Oppo ColorOS 12 privacy management

New features in ColorOS 12

ColorOS 12 introduces a refreshed interface without clutter, it also has a nice card layout rich with information and customizable widgets. It also brings Omoji avatars, which are similar to Apple's Memoji for iOS. The upcoming firmware brings some nifty additions, such as the ability to connect your Oppo phone to your PC, to allow you to manage the handset using your computer's screen and keyboard. You can use it to share the clipboard, edit files, view notifications, and transfer data.  In case you aren't aware, you can do the same with the open source tool, ScrCpy.

Oppo ColorOS 12 new interface

ColorOS 12 comes with the new Quantum Animation Engine 3.0, which delivers smooth animations for transitions, and a fluid performance. You can view a demo of the operating system, in the video that is embedded on the official page (it's in Chinese).

Oppo ColorOS 12 cards

Smart sidebar is yet another improvement that arrives with ColorOS 12, it provides quick shortcuts that you may find handy while on a video conference calls, or watching videos, or screen sharing.

OnePlus devices in China to get ColorOS 12

A few months ago, OnePlus announced that it was merging the codebase of its Android skin, OxygenOS, with that of ColorOS. This move was made to optimize the development process of the software. OnePlus had already reassured users that OxygenOS will continue to exist in its current form, aka stock Android-like, but its devices that are sold in China will be updated to ColorOS instead. That is going to happen with ColorOS 12, so OnePlus devices in China will get the same features as the Oppo devices.

Oppo will start rolling out ColorOS 12 to its devices starting from October 2021, and through the next months.

Note: The source web page is in Chinese and features images instead of text, so I used Yandex Translate's OCR tool to translate the contents to English.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S21? If so, you can opt-in to the One UI 4.0 Beta Program to test Android 12. Google is prepping for the Android 12 release, and that's rumored to be announced on the 4th of October.

Oppo's ColorOS 12 will remove metadata from media that you share
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Oppo's ColorOS 12 will remove metadata from media that you share
Oppo's ColorOS 12 brings Android 12 along with several privacy-friendly options.
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  1. Jeff M.S. said on September 18, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Last time I checked WhatsApp stripped metadata when sharing content through it. However there are times when one may want metadata to be preserved – when sharing as a file.

  2. ChromeFan said on September 17, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    China has better privacy laws than the USA, and is on par with the EU. Enjoy your limited privacy, Americans.

  3. ULBoom said on September 17, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Uh, yeah. Are they even allowed to do that?

    If so, then WhatsApp’s encryption that FB can break at will is really, really good!

    1. ChromeFan said on September 17, 2021 at 3:09 pm

      FB does not need to break encryption, they use metadata. It is more valuable.

  4. ShintoPlasm said on September 17, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Chinese phonemaker protecting your privacy… LOL

    1. ChromeFan said on September 17, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      If you don’t think everything that is made in the USA has a back door (even your precious Linux) then you cannot be helped (lol).

      I would trust my information in the hands of the Chinese, than the Americans. That’s a fact.

    2. ULBoom said on September 17, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      Xenophobia? US manufacturers? Librem? Four other brands made in China?
      Even Apple? Hah, hah, hah!!!

    3. m3city said on September 17, 2021 at 9:18 am

      I know the following is just a simple, subjective case, but I did check whether my Huawei (google services free) calls home. Pi-hole says it doesn’t, when I have all the controls set to opt-out. Naturally, when I specifically turn them on, or trigger system update check then it does contact their servers, and I don’t know whats trasferred. But there is an option to see/delete telemetry logs, turn it off. There are also opt-out triggers for components like UI, AI, built in search etc.

    4. Adolfo said on September 17, 2021 at 4:29 am

      There’s no need for the thinly veiled xenophobia, especially as the same could be said about any US smartphone manufacturer, even Apple.

      1. Shadow_Death said on September 18, 2021 at 6:23 am

        There is nothing thinly veiled or xenophobic about their statement. China is known for owning stake in companies. They have a social credit system and do not allow VPNs to operate within their country. Everything about all of that suggests that they spy on their citizens. I mean it isn’t a secret.. they have a facial recognition system in place to monitor all citizen travel……

        As for “xenophobia” I understand that it sounds cool but the “phobia” would suggest that they’re afraid… nothing about their statement says “afraid”. People just love to use that word though don’t they…..

        Keep in mind, none of this is intended to be insulting to you. I’m just pointing out what he meant and pointing out that what he said isn’t racist or “xenophobic”.

      2. Yash said on September 17, 2021 at 9:40 am

        Yeah same can be said about American OEMs, but it doesn’t discount the fact that privacy invasion problem is more widespread in Chinese makers phones, e.g. Xiaomi Browser fiasco plus many more.

        I use Imagepipe(many more available in F-Droid) so not dependent on OEMs, infact I don’t use any apps developed by OEMs. For most part F-Droid is much better.

      3. Peter said on September 17, 2021 at 12:30 pm

        Yeah no, that goes against their agenda. More likely, they will introduce it’s own, secret metadata and digital fingerprint system, and just delete the standard info to give a false sense of integrity. And I can see that the shills has already invaded this comment field, pulling strawman arguments about xenophobia.

  5. jiggywitit said on September 16, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    My Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite already erases all metadata when sharing from gallery to another application that includes location data of course.

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