Thursday, 30 May 2013

Incognito mode for Chrome is super helpful not just as a privacy feature, but also for letting your friends use Chrome without using your Google account. A recent comment from Android head Sundar Pichai suggests that we could see a similar feature hitting Android soon.

Speaking at the D11 conference, Pichai was asked if more privacy was needed in Google products. He pointed to Chrome’s privacy settings, incognito mode in particular, as features that help enhance privacy on the Web. He then said that he would like to bring those features to Android in the future.

Here’s the full response:

“When we did Chrome, we invested in incognito mode. Now you can do that on the phone. You’re completely not signed-in, and we don’t know anything about you… We do want more things like that, though. From a security, child safety, etc. standpoint. Chrome OS lets you be a guest user. We’re working on things like that on Android.”

Pichai didn’t provide anymore information beyond that so it’s not entirely clear what he meant. It’s easy to see that Google will be bringing more privacy options to Android, but does that mean the Android team is bringing something like incognito mode to the platform? Will Google allow users to completely drop off the grid when using Android devices?

In short, not likely. What this may mean is that Google will be introducing something like Kid’s Corner on Android. For those unaware, Kid’s Corner is a Windows Phone 8 feature that turns off all the communication functions of the device and restricts the user to a select number of apps. Google may also be bringing multiple user accounts to Android phones. It’s already a feature in Android tablets.

We’ve reached out to Google for more clarification on Pichai’s statement, and will update if/when we hear back.

Whatever it is, we’ll likely see it in the next version of Android that’s rumored for release sometime this year.

[h/t: Engadget]


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