Android’s Private Compute Services app will soon show a log of all its own network activity

Android’s Private Compute Services app will soon show a log of all its own network activity through a new preference in Private Compute Core settings (AKA “Android System Intelligence” under Settings > Security & privacy > More security & privacy on Pixel). This isn’t available yet.

What network activity can you expect to see in the log? ML model downloads for:

  • App Suggestions
  • Cinematic wallpaper
  • Live Caption
  • Live to Translate
  • Notification Auto Expiration
  • People & Conversations Service
  • Quick Tap
  • Speech recognition
  • Suspicious Message Alerts
  • Smart Copy/Paste
  • Smart Text Selection
  • Text classification
  • Universal search

As well as Android Key Attestation nonce challenges (new) and any contributions to analytics for numerous services. Most of the features/services I mentioned aren’t new, except for 3: Cinematic wallpaper, Notification Auto Expiration, and Android Key Attestation in PCC.

1) Under the hood, the new Cinematic Wallpaper feature uses an “on-device convolutional neural network to estimate depth, and then a generative adversarial network for in-painting as the background moves,” according to Dave Burke at I/O.

2) We have never heard of a Notification Auto Expiration feature before, but it sounds like a feature that might automatically dismiss certain notifications based on certain criteria/time? If you know more info, let me know!

3) It looks like Private Compute Core will be handling Android Key Attestation, and anytime a nonce challenge is requested, this will also be logged in the network usage log mentioned before.

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