Android 12 hands-on: Here is what’s new

android 12 developer preview 1 group chat notification

At present, we’ve had our first glimpse on the subsequent main model of Google’s working system, Android 12. The corporate has launched an early developer preview, which is now out there for obtain for numerous Pixel telephones.

In response to Google, Android 12 is all about making the OS “extra intuitive, higher performing, and safer.” Lots of the adjustments you’ll discover on this construct are just for builders however will translate to significant experiences as soon as the official, consumer-ready model of Android 12 is launched later this 12 months.

For now, let’s dive into the very first Android 12 developer preview.

Associated: Android 12: Every little thing confirmed and rumored thus far

What’s new in Android 12?

android 12 developer preview 1 group chat notification

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

As is the case with many different early developer previews, we aren’t seeing too many visible adjustments to the working system. At the very least, we’re not seeing the massive UI overhaul that was rumored just a few weeks in the past. Nevertheless, there are nonetheless loads of little adjustments right here and there.

Android 12 notifications

Google is but once more altering the look of the Android notification person interface. Notifications now have a extra fashionable look. They take up about the identical quantity of house within the notification shade as earlier than, however the format and font measurement have modified. See the comparisons under for the distinction as in comparison with Android 11. These are refined adjustments, however ones you’ll little doubt discover if you happen to’re used to the way in which Android at the moment handles notifications.

android 12 developer preview 1 notification redesign

Left: Android 12 developer preview 1, Proper: Android 11

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Google has added a useful little snooze icon on the bottom-right of every message notification. Tapping it permits you to rapidly snooze the notification for one hour, quarter-hour, half-hour, or two hours.

Moreover, the background of notifications and fast settings has modified colours. Android 11 had pure white or pure black backgrounds for each notifications and fast settings. As one would count on, the background is determined by your system theme. Android 12’s backgrounds have a bluish tint to them, even if you happen to’ve chosen one other coloration in your accents. We’re not totally positive why this modified Maybe it could possibly be a part of Google’s rumored theming overhaul for Android 12? We’ll must regulate this for future releases.

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Google says it’ll be faster to open apps from notifications in Android 12. Now, builders are inspired to have notification faucets set off Exercise begins straight as an alternative of using “trampolines” to start out the Exercise. These could cause important delays, so Android 12 truly blocks notification trampolines. It does this by stopping them from launching goal Actions. Google says the change will solely apply to apps focusing on Android 12.

android 12 developer preview 1 notification shade blur with settings menu 1

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

It’s vital to remember that it is a very early developer preview. Issues will most undoubtedly change in future releases. At the very least, I’m hoping Google adjustments the quantity of dimming beneath the notification shade. Normally, flattening the notification shade applies a dim underlay that allows you to see your notifications extra clearly. The dimming is almost gone in Android 12, inflicting the monstrosity you see above when flattening your notifications over the settings menu.


Sure elements of the settings menu are additionally getting a slight visible overhaul. The search bar on the highest now not stretches all the way in which to the best aspect of the display. It’s a bit smaller now, whereas the profile icon on the best aspect has been enlarged.

A brand new Security & Emergency part will be discovered within the settings menu. This new part provides you fast entry to emergency data (contact information, medical particulars, and so on.). There’s additionally automotive crash detection, disaster alerts, wi-fi emergency alerts, and a brand new Emergency SOS function. Emergency SOS permits you to set off an emergency motion by rapidly urgent the ability button 5 instances or extra.

By default, the Emergency SOS function is ready to dial 911, however this quantity will be simply modified. Nevertheless, if you happen to enter a non-emergency quantity, your cellphone have to be unlocked to make use of it.

The settings menu will seemingly get much more of a revamp in future releases. XDA’s Mishaal Rahman discovered a one-handed mode that may be enabled through a function flag on some Pixel units. This primarily applies a Samsung One UI-like format to the settings menu, full with giant textual content headers and a format that must be a lot simpler to achieve on big-screened units. See above for some examples.

Fast settings panel

Should you aren’t a fan of sure media gamers showing in your fast settings panel, now you can flip that off on a per-app foundation. You are able to do this by way of a brand new possibility within the sound & vibration settings menu. Fortunately, it permits you to toggle on and off every media participant you might have put in in your cellphone. So, if you happen to don’t need YouTube to look in your fast settings however wish to hold Spotify or Pocket Casts, now you can make that occur.

android 12 developer preview 1 lockscreen media notifications copy

Left: Android 12 developer preview 1, Proper: Android 11

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Moreover, it must be just a little simpler to parse these media participant notifications in your lock display and in your fast settings menu. Google has made the media notifications a bit bigger. Now, the music title and artist are proven on a single line on the high of the notification. In the meantime, the participant controls are on the underside and the album art work is on the left aspect. It seems to be rather less compact than earlier than.

Different new Android 12 options

Android 11 already allowed for simpler Wi-Fi community sharing, however Android 12 makes it even simpler. Now if you happen to’d wish to share your Wi-Fi community with somebody, simply faucet the Close by button that now seems on the Wi-Fi community share display. That may use Android’s Close by Share function to ship the Wi-Fi credentials to whomever you’d like. See under.

Android 12 DP 1 Wi Fi Sharing

Credit score: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Ah, sure. It wouldn’t be an Android developer preview if we didn’t point out scrolling screenshot assist. It’s a function for which we’ve been clamoring for years. Fortunately, it seems to be like Google is yet another step nearer to creating it a actuality.

Once more, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman identified that Android 12 does certainly have scrolling screenshot assist — however it’s not enabled but. We’re actually hoping Google permits this someday quickly. This function has actually been rumored since April 2019.

Necessary Android 12 options you may’t see

Android 12 stock photo 6

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

As all the time, there are various extra developer-focused adjustments on this early construct that we haven’t had an opportunity to check out. You’ll be able to see the complete checklist on the Google Builders web site. We’ll additionally spherical up among the most vital adjustments right here.

Haptic-coupled audio results

We frequently discuss how vital haptics are to the general person expertise of a smartphone. In Android 12, Google is including assist for haptic-coupled audio results by way of your cellphone’s vibration motor. By utilizing this instrument, builders will be capable of create extra immersive recreation and audio experiences from the vibration power and frequency which might be derived from audio classes. Google provides the instance of a video calling app utilizing customized ringtones to establish callers by way of haptic suggestions, or a racing recreation simulating tough terrain by way of vibration. We have now not had an opportunity to check this function out, however we’re very excited to see the way it works.

Improved Android 12 gesture navigation in immersive mode

Immersive mode kicks in when viewing a full-screen video, recreation, or studying a ebook. Normally, Android’s default gesture navigation requires customers to swipe in from the aspect, then once more to return to the earlier display. Now, that second swipe is now not crucial in issues like video viewers or picture galleries: the brand new default in Android 12 for these circumstances permits you to swipe only one time to return. Google says it’s nonetheless defending apps from unintended gestures, however this could make exiting full-screen experiences a lot much less cumbersome. Should you’re working Android 12, you may do this for your self by taking a look at a photograph in Google Photographs in full-screen mode, then swiping again from the aspect. Manner simpler than earlier than.

Venture Mainline enhancements

Sadly, Android has all the time been related to gradual software program updates, however Google is doing its finest to make {that a} factor of the previous. In Android 12, Google has added the Android Runtime (ART) module to Venture Mainline. By including this module, Google can situation enhancements to runtime efficiency, handle reminiscence, and make Kotlin operations a lot sooner with out requiring a full system replace.

HEVC assist for unsupported apps

Lots of at present’s digicam apps are in a position to seize in HEVC format due to {hardware} encoders constructed into cellular units. Some apps don’t assist the format. For these apps, Google is introducing appropriate media transcoding into Android 12, which transcodes information into the AVC format even when the app doesn’t assist HEVC. Google says the transcoding course of takes time: a one-minute 1080p video at 30fps takes round 9 seconds to transcode on a Pixel 4. It will likely be extremely straightforward for builders to opt-in to the transcoding service, too.

Android 12 AVIF picture assist


Android 12 introduces assist for AV1 Picture File Format (AVIF). This picture format makes use of the intra-frame encoded content material from video compression. In principle, this might “dramatically” enhance picture high quality for a similar file measurement when in comparison with JPEG photos. See above for an instance.

Simpler wealthy content material insertion in apps

Google is making it simpler for apps to maneuver and obtain wealthy content material like photos, movies, audio information, and extra. Android 12 introduces a unified API that lets apps settle for content material from any supply, be it a clipboard, keyboard, or drag and drop. By means of a brand new interface known as OnReceiveContentListener, apps will get a callback when content material is inserted from one other supply. This interface is the place all content material insertion will likely be dealt with, irrespective of the content material sort.

Multi-channel audio enhancements

Android 12 provides assist for MPEG-H playback in passthrough and offload modes. Moreover, audio mixers, resamplers, and results have been optimized for as much as 24 channels.

Optimizations to foreground service

Android 12 will block foreground service begins from the background for purposes that focus on Android 12. To assist make this potential, Google is introducing a brand new expedited job in JobScheduler that will get elevated course of precedence and runs instantly no matter battery constraints. This could result in fewer killed apps and smoother app efficiency. Android 12 will even delay some foreground service notifications by as much as 10 seconds, permitting short-lived duties an opportunity to finish earlier than notifications are proven. Translation: fewer distractions for customers when opening apps from notifications.

When will Google launch Android 12?

Android 12 stock photo 4

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Google has launched a tentative Android 12 launch date timeline for all its developer previews and beta builds. Google has three developer previews scheduled: one in February, one in March, and one in April. There will likely be 4 betas in all, beginning in Could and ending in August.

You’ll discover the “platform stability” signifier is listed for Android 12 beta 4 and the ultimate launch. That is when Google plans to start ultimate compatibility testing for apps, SDKs, and libraries.

As for the ultimate Android 12 launch date, Google isn’t giving us many hints. Granted, it’s potential we may see the complete rollout in late August. Though, we’d wager Google would wait till early- to mid-September for the complete Android 12 rollout.

Android 12 Release Date Schedule Feb 2021

By comparability, Google launched the primary Android 11 developer preview on February 19, 2020, the primary beta on June 10, 2020, and the complete model of the OS on September 8, 2020. The corporate has traditionally caught intently to its dev preview launch schedules. With that in thoughts, as of now, we will count on the Android 12 launch date to be on time.

Additionally learn: Android 11 evaluate: The satan is within the particulars

Must you set up Android 12?

As with all developer previews, it is best to set up them at your individual threat. That is solely the primary developer preview for Android 12, and it’s meant just for builders. Should you select to put in it, remember that you could be run into important performance-related bugs and numerous software program points. Typically, it’s a superb rule of thumb to carry off on putting in early builds of Android a minimum of till the primary beta construct arrives. Even then, you may count on to run into just a few annoying bugs.

Should you personal a Pixel and use it as your main system (and if you happen to don’t have a secondary system), we don’t suggest putting in the primary Android 12 developer preview. Nevertheless, in case you have a secondary Pixel smartphone mendacity round that you simply don’t recurrently depend on, then go loopy. You’ll be able to comply with these directions to put in Android 12 in your Pixel.

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Our tackle Android 12 thus far

Android 12 logo on Google Pixel 3 2

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

With Android 12, Google is certainly making its working system extra intuitive. I like the brand new, fashionable search for notifications, the less complicated settings menu, and lots of the small quality-of-life tweaks that you could be not discover immediately. There are quite a lot of these little adjustments, however all of them add up within the grand scheme of issues.

There are many little adjustments in Android 12, they usually all add up.

I’m excited to see how this model develops with future releases. I’ve a sense Google has much more deliberate within the coming months. There’s a superb probability the model we see at present will evolve into one thing fully totally different by Could.

After all, keep tuned to Android Authority as we uncover much more Android 12 options within the coming days.

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