One of the strongest pulls for those looking at buying a new Android phone is innovation. New features in both software and hardware terms offer users the necessary incentive to upgrade and grab a new handset.
That's something which can go both ways, though. Some new features are much-loved and quickly become fan favourites. Others become the answer to a slightly nerdy pub quiz question.
Some just give a sense of unease, and that's how I feel about the news that developers will soon be able to implement screenshot detection. It's reminiscent of Snapchat, where the app can detect and potentially notify when a screenshot is taken.
This can be used for the app itself. App hosts can be notified of when users take a screenshot, to give them insight about what is being taken down by users. For example, if a shopping app found that a high volume of users were screenshotting their receipt, they might consider automatically sending that, to save a step and improve customer experience.
Of course, the other angle is that it could notify other users, for example in messaging apps like WhatsApp. That concerns me more.
Sure, there's a lighthearted side to it – sharing a funny comment in the group chat, for example. But there could be some serious ramifications for certain groups of users. For example, if screenshots of a conversation were taken in a bid to collect evidence – like in situations of abuse – the cover of the victim could be blown.
Of course, that would all come down to the intentions of the developer. Google are simply opening up the API to give the app notice of the action, but informing the other party is a decision which could be taken by developers.
It's certainly an interesting development, but one which I feel needs to be regulated in a very careful manner. While there are a host of potentially handy use cases, there are also some real dangers which could land the platform in some hot water.
Still, we should celebrate the hunger for innovation. I'm excited to see how apps choose to use this – and I hope that is in a regulated manner.