With Android 13 Now released, some users have found that Google’s new clipboard security and privacy doesn’t work well with apps that allow users to share their Android clipboard data with their desktop computers.
Android 13 introduced clipboard protection that alerts users when an app accesses the clipboard and automatically clears the clipboard after about an hour. It is meant to prevent apps from spying on recently copied data. Apple has rolled out a similar clipboard control on iOS 14.
While Android 13’s feature aims to prevent unwanted clipboard access, Android police found that Android users cannot automatically share a clipboard with another desktop or browser using Android apps such as Join and Tasker, which were created by developer João Dias.
But, for those with iPhones and Macs, Apple has the Universal Clipboardwhich allows users to share clipboard data across iOS and macOS devices, as long as they are signed in with the same Apple ID.
In Android 12, advanced users can use dev tools to achieve something similar to Universal Clipboard, but Android 13 does not allow this.
As Android Police explains, Rejoin relied on background access to device logs to enable automatic and passive synchronization of clipboard data between devices. With Android 13, the user has to copy the text and then share it manually with the Join app, which eliminates the convenience of the service.
(In Android 13, after copying text, the OS displays a small square at the bottom of the screen containing the copied text, which can also be edited, along with a share icon.)
Google has confirmed in its Android issue tracker that it won’t change Android 13’s clipboard behavior, explaining that “disallowing background access works as expected”.
Dias discussed issues with Android 13’s clipboard commands on Join and Tasker in a Reddit post this week. In previous versions of Android, Tasker could access “Logcat”, a central location in Android where the operating system and apps put their logs.
“But now Google has decided that whenever an app needs access to the logcat, a system pop-up appears asking for a ‘one-time’ access permission like this: https://i.imgur.com/yObhtw9.png“, writes Dias.
“This means that whenever Tasker is shut down (a reboot or other system event) or when the logcat reading process is restarted (this is necessary for several technical reasons), this popup will appear. If you don’t ‘don’t accept, the event doesn’t work.’
But Google has discouraged any automation that relies on Logcat.
“We discourage any type of logcat-based automation testing. Trying to communicate with logcat without developer/user interaction is not an intended use case,” Google says in the issue tracker.
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