The most important new features in Android 12
Android 12 is Google’s latest version of the operating system. It is currently under development and is being tested in various betas. We also constantly receive new information about the innovations in Android 12 via the betas. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON summarizes them.
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.
Probably in late summer or early autumn, Google will officially introduce Android 12. Until then, the betas will tell us the first changes. However, it should be noted that not all functions necessarily make it into the final version of Android 12.
- Android 12 Beta now available for download
- The innovations in Android 12
- More control over privacy and data protection
- More intuitive connection overview
- Personalized surface and dynamic design
- New notification and control center
- New camera algorithm
- More compact widgets
- Better integration of alternative app stores
- Apps in sleep mode
- Improved split screen
- Google integrates Nearby Share into Android 12
- The update schedule for Android 12
- Smartphones that should receive the update
Android 12 Beta now available for download
Google is again cooperating with smartphone manufacturers this year to make the beta version of Android 12 available on more devices. Here is the official list of smartphones that qualify for the beta version:
- Asus: ZenFone 8
- Google: Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5
- OnePlus: 9, 9 Pro
- Oppo: Find X3 Pro
- Realme: GT (China only)
- Sharp: Aquos R6
- Tecno: Camon 17
- TCL: 20 Pro 5G
- Vivo: iQOO 7 Legend
- Xiaomi: Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, Mi 11i / Mi 11X Pro
- ZTE: ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (China only)
The second beta is currently available for testers to download. Google has set up a website especially for this .
The innovations in Android 12
As we expected in advance, Android 12 is getting a completely new look and new functions to protect privacy. An overview of the most important changes:
More control over privacy and data protection
The second beta of Android 12 brings among other things the privacy overview (privacy dashboard) already announced on Google I / O. This shows how often and for how long apps – including Google’s own – have accessed the smartphone sensors (GPS, microphone, camera, etc.). From the overview, you can switch directly to the app authorizations in order to withdraw access to certain sensors from an app.
Android 12 also copies the colored indicators from iOS 14 that appear when an app accesses the camera or microphone. But Google even goes a step further. There are now shortcuts in the notification bar with which you can revoke access to the microphone or camera from all apps with one click.
More intuitive connection overview
For a better overview of the network connections, Google has adjusted the display in the status bar, the quick settings and the settings. The new Internet panel should ensure that users can switch between their Internet providers more quickly in the future and that problems with the network connection can be solved more easily.
Personalized surface and dynamic design
With Android 12, Google introduces the design language ” Material You “. This offers many customization options for the surface. Not only the color palette can be freely selected, even the thickness of the lines can be adjusted. The surface can automatically find complementary accent colors to the selected main color and even create a complete color palette based on your own screen background. This coloring then runs through the entire operating system.
The screen elements in Android 12 are generally larger and have very fluid and dynamic animations. For example, the lock screen animation is different depending on how you woke up the smartphone.
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 that. 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 indicating a completely new direction in these matters. Despite the smoother animations, Google was apparently able to reduce the CPU load. In the best case, this can mean better performance and, above all, less battery consumption.
New notification and control center
The notification bar with the quick accesses has been completely redesigned. Both notifications and quick accesses now have larger areas, and the number of elements has been reduced overall. This makes the interface appear much clearer.
There’s also a new media playback control, and for the first time since Android 4.2 Jellybean, Google has changed the look of the brightness slider. There are also new buttons for WiFi and Bluetooth. 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.
New camera algorithm
A new machine learning algorithm has been developed for the camera that automatically adjusts the white balance to accurately display darker skin tones. Especially in poor lighting conditions, dark areas appear completely black, so that faces are sometimes not recognizable. The new camera technology should ensure that skin tones are retained – without overexposing lighter areas.
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
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 handling 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 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 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.
The update schedule for Android 12
The currently available beta is just one of a series. Before the release there should be a total of four beta versions of the new firmware. The last of these should already be stable, so that the finished version can appear in autumn 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.
Also Read: Smartphones that should get Android 11
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. This is what manufacturers have done at least last year. Manufacturers usually promise new firmware versions for two years. However, some manufacturers such as Google itself and Samsung have now extended their update period to three years. 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 Android updates that will be available in the future are not so easy to foresee.
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 wants 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
With the official release of Harmony OS, Huawei said goodbye to Android. Since 2019, the manufacturer had to deliver its Android smartphones without Google apps anyway 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.