Android 10 warns you when your phone’s USB port is contaminated or overheating
Yesterday, Google released the stable Android 10 update for all four generations of its Pixel smartphones. Shortly after, Essential released the stable update for the Essential Phone, OnePlus released a beta for the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, and Xiaomi released a “stable beta” for the Redmi K20 Pro. More importantly for us, however, is the fact that Google began uploading the Android 10 source code to AOSP, kicking off custom ROM development for the new Android OS. While digging through AOSP and Google’s public pages for the new Android release, we spotted two new features: USB port contamination and overheating detection.
The first feature will disable the USB port on your phone if it detects liquid or debris. The Android System will post a notification informing the user that the USB port has been disabled. Once the USB port is free of any liquid or contaminants, the Android System will notify the user that it’s now safe to insert accessories. However, the user also has the option to manually re-enable USB access after clearing out any liquid or contaminants from the port. Since this is an advertised feature of Android 10, we assume that it’ll appear on all Android certified devices.
Using ADB‘s dumpsys usb command, I simulated USB port contamination to bring up this notification (shown on the left) and the dialog (shown on the right.)
The second USB-related feature added in Android 10 is designed to advise the user to unplug the cable from their phone when the port is overheating. Once the USB Type-C port reaches a pre-defined temperature threshold, the Android System will show an alarm dialog to the user telling them to “unplug [the] charger” and to “take care as the cable may be warm.” This dialog will keep showing until the user presses the okay button or the button to show “care steps” to reduce the temperature. According to the code, the temperature at which Android considers the device to be in “critical status” is 60°C while the temperature at which Android considers it to be in an emergency is 65°C. Android already has a warning for when the “skin” temperature gets too high, but now the OS can also help protect the device’s USB-C port from short circuits or overheating. This feature is optional and is controlled by the OEM setting a flag in SystemUI’s config.xml.