Google has introduced what the next version of its mobile operating system will look like: Android 12. During Google I/O 2021, its developer conference that is taking place these days, the company has unveiled all the new android 12.
After the release 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 colorful new ‘Material You’ interface to changes to the Quick Settings panel, split-screen improvements, and important privacy updates.
‘Material You’: Android 12 arrives with a big interface change
The most eye-catching novelty of Android 12 from the beginning is in the design changes. Since the preview passes, we were already able to have a preview of the changes in the interface, with greater customization in the icons, larger and spaced elements, and rounded edges.
Android 12 will allow you to extract the color from the wallpaper and adapt all menus to their colors, from the notification bar to the volume controls or widgets.
For notification bubbles, we have new animations, and transitions have been modified. Items such as windows, widgets, and menu bars incorporate aesthetic changes, and changes are added in dark mode to be a little lighter. Buttons dedicated to Google Pay and My Home control will be included in the Quick Access menu.
‘Material You’ is the evolution of ‘Material Design’ and will first reach the Google Pixels this fall, predictably with the arrival of the final version of Android 12. These are Google’s most ambitious design changes in years.
The ambient screen or ‘Always On’ is also updated with new transitions and new widget styles adapted to the theme you have on. Another change is in gestures, where they have been simplified to move between applications with fewer swipes and the new mode is added to one hand. Google Assistant can be activated from the lock button.
When it comes to playing, Android 12 adds one of the most classic game mode options: a floating bar with options.
With ‘App Pairs,’ Android 12 will allow you to set two apps so that they always open together and share space, and you don’t have to activate the split-screen every time.
New Privacy Panel and 22% performance improvement for CPU
Google’s new operating system includes a Privacy Panel. A new menu where you can see when the apps have accessed the location of the camera, microphone, or device.
Android 12 will display via indicators when the camera or microphone is being used and small switches to disable access. When you share the location, you can also choose to make the location “approximate” rather than “accurate.”
Security enhancements include Android’s new ‘Private Computer Core’, a space equivalent to partitions but specialized in saving sensitive data such as passwords or biometric data. This kernel will have a specific use for AI or functions such as ‘Now Playing,’ hardware responsibility.
At the performance level, Google promises that Android 12 will consume 22% less CPU time in system access and reduce system-important core usage by 15%.
Starting with Android 12, mobile will be able to serve as a digital key for cars
Another novelty announced by Google is that it will allow you to use Android mobiles as a “digital key” for cars. Suppose we have a device that has Ultra-Wideband(UWB) technology. Thanks to this, you can open the car with your phone as if it were NFC.
This feature will initially be available on Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices running 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 improvements 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 release, promising better compression and lower losses over JPG.
At the sound level, support for spatial audio is added for the MPEG-H codec and for up to 24 audio channels.
What’s new we’ve seen in the previews
Over the course of these months, several of the new features that will come with Android 12 have already been unveiled. Here are some of the functions we’ve been testing:
- Screenshot changes – On Android 12, there will be more tools to edit the screenshots, and the preview can be hidden by swiping aside.
- Haptic sound effects in multimedia playback.
- It is blocking third-party apps when responding to a notification.
- Press the power button 5 times for the emergency call.
- Camera2 Vendor Extensions.
- Native support for Quad Bayer sensors.
- “Open by default” option in web links.
On which devices you can install Android 12, and when the final version will arrive
The planned calendar for Android 12 points to September as the month where the final version will arrive. After three developer versions, today comes the first beta version. During the months of June and July, the following versions of the beta are expected to arrive.