Android 12: All information about the new operating system

The large distribution of Android 11 is still running - but the successor is already on the plan. At this point, we collect what Google plans to do with Android 12.

One thing is certain: Android 12 includes numerous new functions.

Distribution of Android 11 started in September 2020 - more and more manufacturers are now delivering the new operating system to users' devices. Google has the reins in hand with Android - and is, therefore, the first company to distribute the update. Reason enough to think about which innovations are to be integrated into the successor Android 12. The beta for developers now provides the first details.

Android 12: The beta for developers

First of all, the developers of apps get access to Android 12, because they should adapt their applications to the changes before the new operating system is started. That's why Google is initially focusing heavily on changes in this area. In a press release, the company made it clear that data protection, among other things, is still at the top of the list - more transparency and control should help. Among other things, it is now being ensured that users can see how cookies are being used across locations. Reading out the network address of the smartphone is also made more difficult. Something is also changing when it comes to integrating media: Many apps still use the now outdated AVC media encoding. With Android 12, Google offers a compatible media encoding that ensures that videos in HEVC format can also be used by apps that previously ran on the basis of the AVC format. The AVIF standard makes it easier to compress images. Google also creates a central interface in the source code for inserting images and videos.

To prevent app crashes and overflowing RAM, Google also prohibits starting foreground processes from the background with Android 12. In the future, there will be the option of coupling haptic feedback with audio - useful, for example, for racing games when uneven terrain is simulated. Instead of the previous eight channels, Android 12 uses up to 24 channels for spatial audio information. The gesture control has also received an update for even better reactions. To make the flood of notifications more pleasant, Google is changing the design and optimizing the animations and transitions in the same breath.

With version 2 of the developer beta, Google offers further new options. Among other things, the developers have the option of configuring the notifications on the lock screen so that they can only be read with authentication by the user. The picture-in-picture mode has also been improved: the apps can now be automatically switched to the mode and the size of the elements can be adjusted. For the simultaneous use of smartwatches or fitness trackers with the appropriate app on the smartphone, an option is now integrated that automatically wakes up the corresponding app. In addition, the developers should now recognize more easily whether a smartphone has rounded corners in order to adjust the display of the application if necessary. Now it's up to the developers

What can the Android 12 beta do?

The beta for developers offers a lot of new functions and possibilities. The most noticeable change is the system color: Android 12 gets a bluish tone. An individual adjustment of the system color, as in some leaks were suspected, does not yet exist. In addition, the background on the lock screen when unlocking and on the start screen in the drop-down menu can now be seen through built-in transparency. If this sounds familiar, you probably use a Samsung smartphone - the function is already integrated into Android 11. In addition, the colors can be reduced in Android 12 with a new mode. The function reduces the brightness and should therefore not always be a good option. In addition, the display in dark mode has been given more options in terms of color.

The background can now also be seen on Android 12 when unlocking and in the drop-down menu

The notch at the top of the display creates space for the camera lens - but the hole rarely looks beautiful. Under Android 12, Google creates a way to make the camera lens on the front invisible. However, this reduces the display area on the display. The user must therefore weigh up whether the small hole is more annoying than a wide bar at the top of the display.

The hole for the camera can disappear under Android 12 - at the expense of the display size

The other functions for more privacy and control can also be seen in the first beta. When opening the camera app or the recorder, the smartphone asks whether access to the camera or the microphone should be allowed. From now on, other system apps must also ask before they are given access rights. In any case, this gives more control over the authorizations of the individual applications.

Google promises more data protection under control with Android 12

A single screenshot is not always enough to save a recipe, for example. Samsung and other manufacturers have been offering the option of creating scrolling screenshots for some time. With Android 12, the function reaches the native operating system - but it has to be activated first. That's not the only change that Google has made in the screenshots: it is now possible to add stickers when editing. Images can also be edited on Android 12 shortly before they are sent - this is made possible by a new area in the shared view.

Editing screenshots and images have new options with Android 12

Smartphone gaming has been an issue for a long time, and many manufacturers have developed different game modes for this reason. For users who like to gamble on their smartphones, the gaming mode could offer new options. This should then ensure that notifications do not interfere with the game, that the brightness adapts and that it is recognized how much battery charge is still in the controller connected via Bluetooth. However, such a mode is currently not yet integrated into Android 12. There is another useful function for gamers: The vibrations can be transmitted to externally connected controllers.

In an emergency, it is important to notify the fire brigade and rescue workers quickly and easily - Google is doing something for this with Android 12. Among other things, new features include accident detection that is triggered automatically. In addition to the classic emergency numbers such as 112, other telephone numbers can also be stored. If the power button is pressed five times in a row, the smartphone automatically sends an emergency call.

Android 12 brings an accident detector to SOS mode

Android 12: Tap on the back

A new hardware gesture appeared in the first developer version of Android 11. However, the double-tap on the back of the smartphone did not make it into the final version. Apparently, the tool was not yet mature enough for Google - but the idea does not seem to have completely disappeared. Like 9to5Google reported, work continues on the function. On the Pixel smartphones, the new gesture could replace Active Edge - the latter was taken out of the range on the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5. The double tipper should not only offer added value for Google smartphones because the gesture can be used for different purposes - for example, but it could also be used to control music playback or take a screenshot. According to 9to5Google, the main problem for development so far is that the gesture is too sensitive. It is integrated into the first beta of Android 12 - but it does not work after activation.

Android 12 Beta: That's still missing

Some functions that have already been expected are still missing in the first beta. However, that does not mean that they cannot be integrated into the final version. Until now, the availability of new emojis was linked to the existing operating system because the new symbols were delivered with an update. As XDA Developers reported, this approach could come to an end with Android 12. According to the report, Google no longer wants to integrate the emojis into the operating system, but - like many fonts - make them updatable via the Play Store. This could also shorten the update cycles for new emojis and the coupling to a specific operating system would also be off the table. In addition, the restriction of the data connection is not yet integrated. She was already in one Android open source project surfaced. This feature would ensure that the data connection for third-party apps is cut - then only system applications or selected apps could send data. The function of putting apps into a kind of hibernation has not yet appeared in Android 12. XDA Developers had found the first details about a possible new space saver in the Android open source project.

Android 12: This is the timetable

With the start of the first beta for developers, Google has also published the timetable for the final release. Accordingly, there will be the first official beta for everyone in May 2021 at the latest. The public beta - just like the development version - will receive monthly updates. The version is expected to reach platform stability in August before being released in September 2021. If everything goes well, Google is expected to deliver Android 12 to the Pixel smartphones in September 2021. Other manufacturers then traditionally follow suit with their own versions at the end of the year.

Who will get Android 12?

Even before the release of Android 12, it can be foreseen which models will receive the update to the new operating system. The background to this is the updated policy of major manufacturers such as Samsung. As with Android 11, the successor will appear first on Google Pixel smartphones. Other manufacturers such as Samsung will only follow suit later, as the Android version is still being adapted to the user environment. This means that the manufacturers integrate their own functions and make design adjustments. You can find out which models have the chance of an Android 12 update in the Android 12 device overview.

What is the name of Android 12?

Google ended a cherished tradition with Android 10. Since then, new Android versions have no longer been given candy as a nickname - only hints can still be found in the source code. For example, Android 11 was apparently called Red Velvet Cake internally, a red-colored cake that is particularly well-known in the USA. For Android 12, the developers do not want to completely evade the naming, like XDA Developers reported. Accordingly, as with Android 11, corresponding hints have appeared in the source code that indicate a sweet or a dessert. According to the research, Android 12 is to get "Snow Cone" as an internal nickname: a kind of semi-frozen food made from ice chips that are poured with sugar syrup. It is currently not clear whether there will be a hidden recipe for dessert-like with Android 11. A 3D animation can be opened on an Android smartphone via this link; the recipe for a Red Velvet Cake is hidden in a corner below. For those who don't want to search, 9to5Google wrote down the recipe.

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