Google has presented what the next version of its mobile operating system will be like: Android 12. During Google I/O 2021, its conference for developers that is being held these days, the company has unveiled all the new features of Android 12.
After the publication of the first previews last February, today comes the first beta of Android 12, a version closer to the final and that can already be installed on different devices.
These are all the changes announced by Google on Android 12, from a new and colorful ‘Material You’ interface to changes in the quick settings panel, improvements in the split-screen, and important developments in privacy.
‘Material You’: Android 12 arrives with a big UI change
The most striking novelty of Android 12 from the outset is in the design changes. Since the past previews, we could already have a foretaste of the changes in the interface, with greater customization in icons, larger and more spaced elements, and rounded edges.
Android 12 will allow you to extract the color of the wallpaper and adapt all menus to your colors, from the notification bar to the volume controls or widgets.
For the notification bubbles, there are new animations and the transitions have been modified. Elements such as windows, widgets, and menu bars incorporate aesthetic changes and changes are added to the dark mode, to be somewhat lighter. Dedicated buttons for Google Pay and My Home control will be included in the quick access menu.
‘Material You’ is the evolution of ‘Material Design’ and will arrive for the first time on the Google Pixel this fall, predictably with the arrival of the final version of Android 12. This is Google’s most ambitious design change in years.
The ambient screen or ‘Always On’ is also updated with new transitions and new widget styles, adapted to the theme installed. Another change is found in the gestures, where they have been simplified to move between applications with less sliding and the new one-handed mode is added. From the lock button, you can activate Google Assistant.
When it comes to gaming, Android 12 adds one of the most classic options for game modes: a floating bar with options.
With ‘App Pairs’, Android 12 will allow setting two apps to always open together and share space and not have to activate the split-screen every time.
New Privacy Panel and performance improvement by 22% for the CPU
The new Google operating system includes a Privacy Panel. A new menu where we will be able to see when applications have accessed the location of the camera, microphone, or device.
Android 12 will show through indicators when the camera or microphone is being used and small switches to disable access. When sharing a location, we will also be able to choose to make the location “approximate” instead of “precise”.
Among the security improvements are the new Android ‘Private Compute Core’, a space equivalent to partitions but specialized in storing sensitive data such as passwords or biometric data. This core will have a specific use for AI or functions such as ‘Now Playing’, the responsibility of the hardware.
At the performance level, Google promises that Android 12 will consume 22% less time for the CPU in accessing the system and will reduce by 15% the use of important cores by the system.
Starting with Android 12, the cell phone will be able to serve as a digital key for cars
Another new feature announced by Google is that it will allow Android mobiles to be used as a “digital key” for cars. If you have a device with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. Thanks to this, you can open the car with the cell phone as if it were with NFC.
This feature will initially be available on Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices with Android 12 from the end of the year. Regarding car manufacturers, Google announces that BMW will be the first to offer compatibility with this system, followed by brands such as GM, Ford, or Honda.
Audio enhancements and new image formats
With Android 12, a new transcoding layer is added that will allow the HEVC video format to be supported. The AV1 or AVIF image format also takes center stage in this version, promising better compression and lower losses compared to JPG.
In terms of sound, support for spatial audio, for the MPEG-H codec and up to 24 audio channels have been added.
The new features already revealed in the previews
Throughout these months we have been unveiling several of the new features that will arrive with Android 12. These are some of the features we have been testing:
- Changes in screenshot: in Android 12 there will be more tools to edit screenshots and the preview can be hidden by sliding to the side.
- Haptic sound effects in multimedia playback.
- Blocking of third-party apps when replying to a notification.
- 5x power button press for an emergency call.
- Camera2 vendor extensions.
- Native support for Quad Bayer sensors.
- Open by default” option in web links.
On which devices Android 12 can be installed and when the final version will arrive
The planned schedule for Android 12 points to September as the month when the final version will arrive. After three developer versions, the first beta version arrives today. During the months of June and July, the following beta versions are expected to arrive.
To install the Android 12 beta we will need to have a compatible mobile, among them are the latest Google Pixel devices: Pixel 3 and 3 XL, Pixel 3a and 3a XL, Pixel 4 and 4 XL, Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and the Pixel 5.
In addition to Google devices, the Android 12 beta can be installed on some devices from ASUS, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, Sharp, Tecno, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Through the following link, you can download the Android 12 OTA.