Pixel 8 Pro’s Temperature Sensor Has Been ‘Locked’ By Google, So Only Trusted Apps Can Retrieve Data From It

The temperature sensor is exclusive to the more expensive Pixel 8 Pro this year, and there are several creative uses for it, which app developers will likely be aware of. However, Google has locked the sensor down so that only trusted apps can take data from it, keeping the possibility of misuse and further ramifications down to a minimum.

Only pre-installed or Google-signed apps can retrieve data from the Pixel 8 Pro’s temperature sensor

For those that do not know, the temperature sensor of the Pixel 8 Pro is not FDA approved, likely due to the propensity of the sensor to deliver inaccurate readings when it is in close contact with human skin. On X, Mishaal Rahman has put out a long post, mentioning that apps that have permission to get data from the temperature sensor have to ‘hold the permission’

Unfortunately, this permission is only available to pre-installed or Google-signed apps. Mika, or @mikagetsangry, decompiled the Thermometer app in an attempt to forcefully obtain permission. Unfortunately, upon recompiling, the app cannot be read from the thermometer sensor. Digging further, it was found that there is a preset emissivity value available for each object type.

For instance, fabrics have an emissivity level of 0.85f, whereas for organic food and beverage, the level is closest to the accepted value of human skin emissivity, which is 0.98f. Rahman has posted that based on these options, it is possible to get temperature readings that are close to accurate. However, he does warn that we should wait for FDA approval before an official body temperature measurement mode rolls out.

“The FOOD_ORGANIC and BEVERAGE_WATER options are set to 0.95, which are the closest to the accepted value of human skin emissivity (0.98), so if you pick either option, you might get skin temperature readings that are relatively close to accurate. Of course, it’s best to wait until the sensor gets FDA approval so they can roll out the proper body temperature mode.”

It should go without saying that the Pixel 8 Pro’s temperature sensor should not be termed as the replacement for an actual thermometer, as evidenced by the permission limitations from Google. It is quite an interesting find from Rahman, so we recommend checking out the entire post to gain intricate knowledge about what Google is doing and its plans for the Pixel 8 Pro.

News Source: Mishaal Rahman