For the next, highly expected version of Android, Google is preparing to open the spigot not only on new features, but also on a long overdue interface polishing. After the new Android 12 interface
leaked out recently, Google went and introduced Android 12 to devs
just in the timeframe we envisaged, and will probably showcase a public beta at its I/O event in the spring. The new interface is taking cues from the best out there, like Samsung's One UI interface
, and with a good reason. Here's what to expect from Google's next Android 12 version.
Android 12 release date
- September 2, 2021
- Android 12 developer preview release date: February 18, 2021
Google released Android versions 7 to 9 on Monday in the hot summer month of August, then it moved the launch to the first Tuesday of September for Android 10 and the current Android 11
, releasing them on September 3 and September 8, respectively. In that train of thought, the Android 12 release date to manufacturers should be September 2, as Google itself gives August as the last Android 12 stable beta release
Needless to say, Google already has a developer preview of its newest mobile operating system edition, where most of the new features will be prepped for testing and revealed for the general public later in the spring. Last year, the Android 11 developer preview was out on Wednesday, February 19, and by that logic the Android 12 dev preview
was just released to developers on February 18.
How to install the new Android 12 developer preview beta
2. Sideload and install the Android 12 update on your Pixel phone, it will be updated with new betas upon release.
New Android 12 features
- One-swipe gesture for home screen return in full screen mode, except for gaming.
- Easy rich content (images, video) copying between apps, and App Pairs split screen system.
- New notifications - uniform looks for customized content, faster jump to the app, smoother animations and transitions.
Customized notification content gets consistent looks
- One-handed mode - moving active elements lower on the screen within your thumb's reach.
- Haptic-coupled audio effect - pair custom sound with custom vibrations in games or other apps.
- Core Android 12 system elements updates via the Play Store, instead of slower full system updates.
- Rich customization options for foldable phone or TV screen interfaces
- Advanced wallpaper-based theme support
- Scrolling screenshots
- Emojis on screenshots
- Smart rotation lock
- App hibernation
- Double-tap gesture command for the rear
- Wi-Fi password sharing with Nearby Share
- Anti-tracking features and privacy enhancements
- Compatible media transcoding - automatic HEVC video transcoding for apps.
- New AVIF image compression file format support
Split screen and rich content insertion features in Android 12
A new Rich content insertion feature will let you seamlessly copy plain and styled text to markup, images, videos, audio files, and others from one app to the other regardless of whether the source is the clipboard, the keyboard, or simple drag and drop between the split-screen apps UI.
Google is also working on a split-screen mode rehash on a system level for Android 12. This will allow a better and more intuitive multitasking experience to Android users. Instead of opening one app, and then activating split-screen mode for that app via the Recents view, users will be able to group two apps in “tasks” and then quickly launch these pairs or switch between a pair of apps and a single app.
Android 12 will also let people easily “pair” two apps right from the Recent view. When you use such a pair, the divider between the two apps will also get a bonus feature. Dragging the divider will still resize both apps but when you double-tap on it, the two active apps will quickly swap positions.
The new Android 12 notifications interface
Google's design concept revealed that there will be a new notifications UI in Android 12 that replaces the current transparent look with a light beige opaque. The hue might change if Dark mode is enabled; the rounded corners of each notification is more easily viewable. Google did reduce the number of Quick Settings icons to four from six and these will surface when the notification panel is expanded.
The icons are larger than usual because of the fewer number of icons used. The positions of the date and the clock have been swapped on the front of the display, and there are new privacy indicators in the upper right corner. Tapping on these icons will tell you exactly which apps are using the microphone and camera on your handset. A "Sensors off" icon in Quick Settings will allow the user to shut down and disable all sensors on his or her phone with a single tap; the Developer options menu will have to be enabled to see this icon.
Moving on, a mandatory Conversations widget will show Android users messages, missed calls, and more. Due to its small size, the widget will only be able to show one item at a time. Also mandatory will be the use of camera and microphone icons on the front display which must be visible when the camera and the microphone are being used. You might recall that Apple added something similar with iOS 14.2. A small green dot on the upper right of an iPhone display means that an app is using the handset's camera while an orange dot indicates that an app is using an iPhone's microphone.
New Android 12 notifications
New App hibernation feature in Android 12
Climbing further the new Android 12 features ladder, Google might be working on a hibernation system for apps. The system allows apps to enter a hibernation state when they are not used and will help free up storage.
New one-handed mode and double-tap navigation gesture in Android 12
The double tap gesture that was rumored for Android 11, should now be making its way into Android 12, replacing the obsolete Active Edge
squeeze feature that is not found on the Pixel 4a
, Pixel 4a 5G
and the Pixel 5
. The double tap would allow Pixel users to activate Assistant, take a screenshot, control media playback, bring down the notification bar, open recent apps view, and other programmable commands, or it can be disabled if not needed. This will most likely be among the user-oriented features that will be previewed during the Google I/O event in the spring. In addition, there is right now an active one-handed mode that moves interface elements down within your thumb's reach, similar to Apple's Reachability, yet Android phone makers have had a better solution for a while.
When will my phone get Android 12?
- Samsung Galaxy Android 12 update: October beta, December 2021 stable
- LG phones Android 12 update: from January '22
- OnePlus phones Android update: September beta, October 2021 stable
- Motorola phones Android 12 update: September beta, January '22 stable
- Nokia phones Android 12 update: from October 2021
- Oppo, vivo, Realme phones Android 12 update: Q4 2021
- Sony phones Android 12 update: December 2021