Android 11 has still not arrived on all smartphones, but Google is already preparing its next major operating system version. Android 12 will be rolled out from autumn this year and – unsurprisingly – brings some innovations. Google has already given a first glimpse into the new functions of Android 12 and we already know some other details about the new system.
Since Android 10, Google has deleted the name affix from its firmware. Before that, the company named every version of the system after candy – in alphabetical order from cupcake to pie. Android 12 also has to do without the dessert additive and instead has a clear, numerical name.
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- Google reveals update schedule
- The innovations in Android 12
- Smartphones that should receive the update
Google reveals update schedule
Traditionally, the manufacturer will officially present its upcoming new Android version at Google I / O in May. The announcement is usually preceded by various developer options. The first of a total of three planned developer previews is already available on Google’s developers website ; the other two will follow in March and April. From May, for Google I / O, Android 12 will go into the official beta test phase, in which users can also participate. Google has planned a total of four beta versions of Android 12. There should be an update every month. The release candidate, which precedes the official update, is therefore planned for the third quarter of 2021.
Google has made its update schedule for Android 12 clear in a timeline. What is noticeable here is the rather large gap between the release candidate in August and the official update. In the past, Google mostly rolled out the final version from September. We can currently only speculate whether the larger gap may indicate a later rollout – for example in October.
In any case, there is still some time until the official release of Android 12. And Google is already sweetening this for us with the first announcements about the new system. The manufacturer gives an outlook on what Android 12 has to offer.
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The innovations in Android 12
New user interface
A very obvious change could be the redesigned user interface of Android 12. The first screenshots that were published on XDA Developers were extracted from a Google document . They not only show a new look, but also provide information about some possible new functions of Android 12. At this early stage of development, however, the innovations are not yet set in stone. It remains to be seen whether Android 12 will really get the new look shown in the end. The screenshots give a good impression.
More data protection in Android 12
The first pictures indicate a new data protection function. In the future, a small icon on the edge of the screen could indicate whether the camera is currently active and whether the microphone has recorded voice recordings. Users can see at a glance whether their smartphone or apps used may have made unwanted recordings. Apple has already integrated a similar security feature in iOS 14.
New notification bar
The notification bar has a new, tidy look. If Google takes over the look in Android 12, we will see four instead of the previous six quick settings as well as clearly separated notifications. Google separates new chat messages from the general system notifications, and the elements are given a rounder look. Overall, this increases the clarity significantly.
More compact widgets
Android 12 may also bring us some new widgets that are more compact than before. In particular, the screenshots show a new notification widget that shows information on current news, missed calls or the activity status of chat partners. The widget shown is just big enough to display a message, a call or a status at a time.
Better integration of alternative app stores
Android includes the Google Play Store. Unlike competitor Apple, however, Google is already allowing alternative app stores to be used. A prominent example is the Amazon app shop or Samsung Galaxy app shop, but also the platform for third-party apps F-Droid .
With Android 12, Google plans to further loosen up the use of alternative app stores, which should make it easier for developers and Android users to access the platforms. The company has already detailed the project in the Google Developers Blogdescribed. Android has always been an open source software that is open to all developers. In autumn 2020, however, there were complaints from them about Google’s billing model. If developers market their apps in the Play Store, Google keeps part of the income from app purchases and in-app purchases. With the further opening of alternative app stores, Google wants to give developers the ability to find alternative marketing opportunities more easily if they do not agree with the company’s guidelines. This allows users to access apps even if they are not offered in the Play Store.
Apps in sleep mode
Many Android apps consume resources on the smartphone even when they are not actively used. A new feature in Android 12 should put an end to this. According to ” XDA Developers“Google is apparently planning a sleep mode in its upcoming firmware. Not much is known about the function so far. It is currently unclear whether the apps are automatically shut down when they are not used for a long time or whether users have to actively activate the mode for certain applications. In any case, it seems certain that the app sleep mode is primarily used to save storage space. This happens on the one hand by compressing memory packets and on the other hand by automatically deleting the cache files of an app. This should be particularly noticeable with streaming apps or games, which sometimes take up a lot of cache.
Improved split screen
In split-screen mode, users can open two apps at the same time and display them on the split screen. Google has been offering the function natively in its system since Android 7. However, the implementation of the split screen is still a bit bumpy in Android 11. That should change in the upcoming firmware. According to ” 9to5Google ” the company would like to introduce the so-called app pairs. In contrast to the split screen, in which two apps are pinned together with several clicks, users can define two applications as one task using app pairs. A frequently used app duo can be saved, which enables access with just one click. A quick exchange of one of the two apps should also be possible quickly.
Google integrates Nearby Share into Android 12
In Android 12, Google apparently wants to integrate a function that already exists. This is a Nearby Share, which smartphone users can use to share their WiFi password. Entering a password or creating a QR code (current solution in Android 10 and 11) is no longer necessary. A user releases his WLAN with simple clicks so that users in the immediate vicinity can dial in. Only the nearby share connection has to be approved by both users, which secures the connection.
So far, smartphone users have been able to use the preset light color scheme or set dark mode. With Android 12, according to the latest information, Google would like to further adapt the design options for the themes. The main color and the accent colors should then be freely selectable – and also change the color in the apps themselves. OnePlus, for example, already handles parts of it in a similar way.
Smartphones that should receive the update
When Google starts rolling out Android 12 in a few months, the manufacturer will certainly supply its own Pixel smartphones first. But the devices from OnePlus and Xiaomi are also hot candidates for a quick Android update immediately after release. At least that’s how manufacturers did it last year. Manufacturers usually promise new firmware versions for two years. Only Google itself and Samsung commit to three years of updates. So anyone who has currently bought a new smartphone in the middle or upper category will most likely get Android 12. With their entry-level models, however, the manufacturers often proceed differently, so that future Android updates are not so easily foreseeable.
The more unadjusted a manufacturer’s smartphone user interface, the fewer adjustments he has to make to the system and the faster he can provide the updates. Big names like Samsung, LG, Sony and Co. have not been among the manufacturers who are known for their quick updates.
|Asus||Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro|
|ROG Phone 3|
|Pixel 3/3 XL|
|Pixel 3a / 3a XL|
|Pixel 4/4 XL|
|Pixel 4a / 4a 5G|
|Nokia||Nokia 8.3 5G|
|OnePlus||OnePlus 7/7 Pro|
|OnePlus 7T / 7T Pro|
|OnePlus 8/8 Pro|
|Oppo||Find X2 and Find X2 Pro|
|Realme||Realme X3 SuperZoom|
|X50 5G / X50 Pro 5G|
|X7 / X7 Pro 5G|
|Samsung||Galaxy S21, S21 + and Ultra|
|Galaxy S20, S20 + and Ultra|
|Galaxy S20 FE|
|Galaxy S10, S10 +|
|Galaxy S10 Lite|
|Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra|
|Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+|
|Galaxy Note 10 Lite|
|Galaxy Z Flip|
|Galaxy Z Fold and Z Fold 2|
|Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 +|
|Galaxy Tab S6|
|Galaxy Tab S6 Lite|
|Sony||Xperia 1 II|
|Xperia 5 II|
|Xperia 10 II|
|Mi 10T Lite, Mi 10T, Mi 10T Pro|
|Mi 10 Lite, Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro|
|Mi Note 10 Lite, Note 10, Note 10 Pro|
|Redmi Note 9T|
|Poco F2 Pro|
|Poco X2 and X3|
|Redmi K30 (5G) / K30 Pro|
|Redmi K30i 5G|
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Android 12 update at Samsung
Samsung would like to change its update principle and announced at the end of 2020 that it would deliver Android updates for some of its model series for three years instead of the previous two years. The manufacturer named 30 devices that we have included in the list. The announcement also tells us which of the models currently available on the market will definitely receive Android 12.
Huawei and Android
At Huawei, the Android question remains open. Since 2019, the manufacturer has had to deliver its Android smartphones without Google apps due to the dispute with the USA. The devices are based on Android, but Huawei relies on specially developed apps and services. This was also the case with Honor for a long time. However, Huawei has now sold the Honor brand , so that it could now possibly get access to Google again.