UPDATE: The first Android 12 beta is official. Read all we know so far about the Android 12 release date and new features.
Exactly a week ago today, we passed along some mockups of Android 12 that were actually design concepts made by Google to show Android phone manufacturers what Google had in mind for the next build of Android. Similar to iOS, Android 12 will alert users when a third party app is using the phone's microphone and camera. According to XDA, Google will change the layout of the Always on Display and the Lock Screen in Android 12. The UI of the pattern lock in Android 12 is getting a change and additional lock screen clock options will be offered.
A new letterbox feature will be similar to having an an app placed inside a frame or a window with background colors that change. To make sure that an app's splash screen doesn't blind you at night, Android 12 might automatically show an app's splash screen based on the theme (Light or Dark) you selected. XDA also mentioned some of the UI changes that Google is reportedly testing such as a thicker brightness slider in the notification panel, a two panel notification shade, and a move that would send the Quick Settings tile labels to the side of the screen.
Google is calling some of the UI changes for Android 12 the start of the "the road to Material NEXT." Just as Google adjusted its Android apps to meet the Material Theme design (retina burning white background, specific fonts), Google's Android apps could be updated to whatever the Material NEXT look turns out to be.
We could see the Android 12 developer beta preview launch this month. The final version of Android 12 will likely be pushed out in September. One of the most interesting features will be app hibernation. Let's say that you want to install a new app but you don't have enough storage remaining. Well, you could delete some of the apps you don't really use anymore to free up space, but truthfully you don't feel that there are any apps that fit that description. What you can do is put an app in hibernation; this will stop the app from working and will free up the amount of data that the app takes up. While in hibernation, the app stays on the phone.