Shortly before the Google I / O event this Tuesday, new pictures and a video showed the new Android 12 in detail. The operating system is expected for autumn 2021 and should not only bring many new functions, but a completely new look.
Since Android 10, Google has deleted the name affix from its firmware. Before that, the company named each 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 designation.
- New pictures and a video show what's new in Android 12
- Google reveals update schedule
- The innovations in Android 12
- Smartphones that should receive the update
New pictures and a video show what’s new in Android 12
Prosser allegedly has official presentation material created for Google I / O. The very first slide of the presentation shows what new things Android 12 has in store. The three main points are “Have a nice new experience”, “More privacy and security protection” and “All your devices work better together”. There are several examples for the first point, with a lot of new widgets and redesigned controls. There is a new control surface for media playback and for the first time since Android 4.2 Jellybean, Google has changed the appearance of the brightness slider. There are also new buttons for WiFi and Bluetooth. There will also be a new weather widget and many smaller visual changes. One of the most important innovations, however, is certainly the “stacked notifications” – literally “stacked notifications”. With a swiping gesture, individual elements can be grouped together to make the notification bar clearer.
In addition to the pictures from the presentation, Prosser also shows a video in which we get a closer look at how Android 12 works. It is particularly noticeable that the bar at the top of the screen has completely disappeared. Android has been suffering from confusing symbols in the bar that represent various notifications for a long time. Android 12 is apparently supposed to do away with this. Instead of individual symbols, only a number is displayed showing how many notifications are still unread. The number is placed in an oval at the top left next to the time. The oval also remains on the lock screen, but again with icons that differentiate between things like calling, texting, and more.
Overall, Android 12 looks much smoother and more dynamic than previous Android versions. Different elements of the surface can be merged with one another or merge seamlessly into one another – almost as if from one piece. The new color scheme with subtle pastel colors does the rest. After little has changed recently in terms of optics and operation, Android 12 seems to be pointing in a completely new direction in these matters.
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, at Google I / O, Android 12 will go into the official beta test phase, in which users can also take part. 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.
Also Read: Smartphones that should get Android 11
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 could be 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. 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
The Google Play Store is part of Android. Unlike its 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. By further opening up alternative app stores, Google wants to give developers the ability to more easily find alternative marketing opportunities if they do not agree with the company’s guidelines. This means that users can 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 period of 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 storage packages 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. But 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, Google would like to further adapt the design options of the themes according to the latest information. 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 right after the 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 if you have currently bought a new smartphone in the middle or upper category, it is very likely that you will receive Android 12. With their entry-level models, however, the manufacturers often proceed differently, so that Android updates that will be available in the future 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 so far not been among the manufacturers who are known for their quick updates.
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 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 meanwhile sold the Honor brand , so that it could now possibly regain access to Google.