Following a slew of developer previews that were released of late, Android 12 is now official. The final iteration of the OS was unveiled at the Google I/O 2021. Android 12 will be rolled out to several Pixel and non-Pixel smartphones from brands such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Asus, OnePlus, and more later this year.
Notably, Android 12 is the biggest redesign ever since the launch of Android 5 Nougat in 2014. Unlike the earlier iterations, Google’s latest iteration is called Material You. It focuses on personalization and the major feature is the dynamically made themes depending on the wallpaper in use.
Android 12 Material You Design
When you have updated to Android 12, you just have to choose a wallpaper and the OS will automatically detect the colors that are dominant. These just look great and are complementary. The system then applies the colors across the OS including the lock screen, the notification shade, new widgets, volume controls, and so on.
All through the operating system, there will be a lot of smooth motion as well as animations. This will give a sense of dynamism and fluidity to all your interactions with the system. Moreover, all aspects are more efficient on the hardware level too with a 22% reduction in the CPU time required for core system services and a 15% reduction in the use of cores by the system server.
Even the quick settings, notification shade and power button have been reimagined. The notification shade appears to be more intuitive and displays a crisp view of the app notifications. There are fewer Quick Settings now, at least on the first swipe. To be precise, there are only four of them and these are more than mere icons. Also, there is text beside them to occupy some space. The Quick Settings is integrated with Google Pay and Home Controls and you can long-press the power button to trigger the Google Assistant.
Android 12 Privacy Features
Moving on to Settings, there is a new Privacy Dashboard giving a single view into the permission settings and what data is being accessed by specific apps and the frequency of the same. It is possible to easily revoke permissions directly from the dashboard too. On the privacy front, there is a new indicator at the status bar’s top right corner. This will let you know when your apps access the mic or camera. It is also possible to remove app access to these sensors for the whole system via new toggles in Quick Settings.
Lastly, when using weather apps or similar ones, you will only share the approximate location details and not the precise location. Maybe, only your city should suffice rather than sharing your exact location.
Google has also included the TV remote feature into the OS that helps users in controlling smart TVs running Android TV OS. It also has a Digital Car key that will work with UWB (ultra-wide-band) and NFC. It will let users of select Pixel and Samsung devices control use their phone as the key for their BMW cars from later this year.
Furthermore, Android 12 has improved accessibility features for those with impaired vision. It also supports scrolling screenshots and conversation widgets that let users add favorite people to the home screen.
The Android 12 beta phase 1 is already out and is supported by Pixel devices as well as several Android devices from other manufacturers.
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Story first published: Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 11:10 [IST]