Auto-rotate greatly improved on Android 12 beta 3, available today for certain non-Pixel phones
Smartphones have relied on an accelerometer to determine whether you want the screen to be in portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) orientation, and for years, there has been no change. But The Verge notes that the recently released Android 12 Beta 3 features a new method that delivers faster and improved auto-rotate. Instead of using just the accelerometer, the front-facing camera and facial recognition will help the phone figure out what orientation you want the phone in.
Android 12 Beta 3 includes an improvement to an Android phone's auto-rotate feature
Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android, said, "This is especially helpful for people who are using their devices while lying down on a couch or in bed." For example, if you are laying in bed with the phone in a horizontal position, the front-facing camera can see that your face is also in a horizontal position and keep your phone in portrait mode. For those worried about privacy, the face detection takes place locally in Android 12's "Private Compute Core" and is not stored or removed from the device. The improvement to Auto-rotate will reduce latencey by 25%, according to Burke.
More Android phones are eligible to install Android 12 beta 3
Besides the Pixel 3 and newer models, beginning with Android 12 beta 3 (which should be available starting today), other phones made by ASUS, OnePlus, Oppo, realme, Sharp, Tecno, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE are eligible to install the newest beta build of Android. The precise models eligible to receive the update include:
- ASUS Zenfone 8
- OnePlus 9/9Pro
- Oppo Find X3 Pro
- realme GT 5G
- Sharp Aquos sense 5G
- Tecno Camon 17
- TCL 20 Pro 5G
- Xiaomi Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, Mi 11i, and Mi 11X Pro
- ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
To learn how to join the Android 12 Developers Program and install the beta on any of the Android phones listed above, simply click on the name of the phone or phone line that you're interested in. If you have a Pixel 3 and newer, you can learn how to join the beta program and install the latest beta build by tapping this link.
Keep in mind that leaving the beta program could force you to wipe all of your data
To make things easier, you can quickly see which Android devices of yours are eligible to join the beta program by heading to google.com/android/beta and clicking the box that says "View your eligible devices." As usual, we warn you that Android 12 beta 3 is not a stable version of the software. As Google says, "The updates that you’ll receive as a part of this program are pre-release versions, and may contain errors and defects that can affect the normal functioning of your device."
If things are so bad that you want to unenroll from the program and roll back to a previous build, you will have to wipe your device which no one really ever wants to do. Just in case, make sure that all of your data is backed up before you embark on this journey.