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Android 13 prepares a new option for apps trying to keep it low

Developers can prevent their app from appearing fullscreen in the Recents menu

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We’re still looking forward to the first Android 13 beta arriving this month, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of new details worth digging into.’s Mishaal Rahman returned yesterday with another deep dive into every nook and cranny of Android’s next major release, and while it’s primarily developer-focused, there are a few interesting points that can impact the way you use your smartphone.

One of the most intriguing API additions to Android 13 is a tool for developers to better control how their apps work with your phone’s Recents menu. Android right now basically creates a screenshot for each app in its current state when you swipe to the app selection page. It’s different from a screenshot you would capture yourself, effectively showing the current state of every open app on your device.


Developers can now prevent the system from capturing a screenshot of their app for use in recent preview. Similar to FLAG_SECURE, but does not affect user or assistant initiated screenshots.

— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) April 14, 2022

With the setRecentsScreenshotEnabled API, developers have more control over how their software appears on your phone. When set to “False”, it will prevent the system from creating a previewable screenshot for Recents. Obviously, applications such as social networks or email providers generally do not require this level of protection, but any service containing confidential data – banking applications, for example – can choose to take advantage of this option.

Rahman notes that this is different from the window flag FLAG_SECURE, which prevents all screenshots, regardless of how they are captured. You’ll still be able to capture these apps using shortcuts on your device, but don’t be surprised if these tools go hand-in-hand with certain apps.

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