Among the myriad of improvements and new features in Android 13, Google also debuted a more private media picker. The new solution was a part of Google Play Services, which allowed the company to backport it to Android 4.4 KitKat, an OS that was released nine years ago. Up until early November, Google Voice was among the first apps to take advantage of the new media picker, with other apps still relying on the old built-in solution. The big G is now rolling out an update to the photo picker that makes it work with a lot more apps.
As noted by , Esper's Sr. Technical Editor, the new photo picker will automatically appear when you need to select a photo or video. So far, the new solution is available in the following apps on devices running Android 11 or newer:
- Google Chat
- Google Keep
- Sync for Reddit
- Reddit is Fun
Unlike the old document picker, the new method allows you to provide apps with access to only selected images and videos instead of your entire photo library. It is a lot more privacy-friendly and prevents apps from unauthorized access to images and files you don't want them to see.
The implementation could be a little weird in some apps, and you will need to tap on "more" to bring up the new picker. For example, the built-in gallery will first open in the Twitter app. You get the new photo picker only when you tap on Gallery at the top and select More... from there. Similarly, in the Instagram app, the built-in media picker appears first. The new solution appears when you select the Other... option from the picker.
There's room for refinement here, which Google and app developers could address in the coming months. This is a server-side push from Google, and it should appear automatically on your device.