Android 12 is here, and it is everything we had hoped for! Google has taken a big step for enhancing our mobile experience with Android 12. After all, Android 12 comes with some major changes in user experience and privacy settings.
Its new user interface dubbed “Material You” gives you more dynamic and personal experience. Moreover, there are a ton of new and improved features like Game Mode, Privacy Dashboard, redesigned widgets, etc.
That being said, let me introduce you to Android 12 and all the goodies it brings for all of us.
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With Android 12, Google is unveiling a whole new design language called Material You — the next stage for Material Design. The primary idea behind Material You is that the design should be directly influenced by the users.
According to its website, “Material You explores a more humanistic approach to design. One that celebrates the tension between design sensibility and personal preference, and does not shy away from emotion”. That means, your device gets auto-customized for providing a more personalized experience in Android 12.
Using color extraction, the system will pick up colors from your wallpaper and apply the colors across the entire operating system including the lock screen, notification bar, volume control, etc. to give a customized, unified look.
This is nothing new for Windows users who have been enjoying a similar feature in Windows since Windows 10. However, it does come as a breath of fresh air for Android fans who have been waiting for this feature for a long time now.
Notification UI and Quick Settings
The design for the notification drawer (also known as the notification shade) and the Quick Settings has seen a massive overhaul. It has been modified to improve esthetics and functionality.
Notifications for a particular app are grouped or separated based on the given app and the notification. Also, you can easily snooze a particular notification with one tap from the notification drawer.
The Quick Settings menu and notification drawer will also no longer show the small round toggles. Instead, they are replaced with much larger, rectangular controls for a more at-a-glance view of your notifications, media player, and the settings.
Android 12 also adds Google Pay and Home Controls to the settings. This new design lets you control most of the Android OS with a swipe and a tap.
Android 12 has improved a lot of everyday features like one-handed mode, picture-in-picture mode, and double-tap gestures. The one-handed mode makes using big-screen phones easier by allowing you to pull downwards from the top-half of the display to open the notification drawer the easy way.
Double-tap gestures can be configured for actions like taking screenshots, launching the assistant, or playing or pausing music, etc. The picture-in-picture mode allows the user to play media in a small window on the top of other apps.
Although this feature was available in previous versions of Android, you can increase the size of the window without going fullscreen in Android 12.
Google has given a lot of thought to widgets and widget organization while designing the all-new Android 12. The widgets are now larger and carry more information. On top of that, the new widgets are more beautiful than ever.
Moreover, new widgets are also introduced; for example, the Personal Space widget that prompts you to be in touch with important people in your life. Android 12 has also improved the organization of widgets. For instance, the Home Screen can now be customized with 4×5, 4×4, 3×3, and 2×2 grids.
Android 12’s new privacy features advocate transparency and complete control over privacy and security of the users. Google has introduced privacy features that help the users access all apps’ permissions and privacy settings directly from a single dashboard, making it easy for all to manage permissions.
On top of that, an indicator is added on the top-right corner of the screen that tells you when an app accesses the camera or microphone. You can revoke app permissions to these sensors easily and quickly from the quick settings.
Android 12 is coming with a brand new development: the Android Private Compute Core. It allows Android to keep your personal information safe by keeping the information local to your phone and away from the network. This enhancement in privacy and security can be a game-changer for Android.
Do you usually complain about your device’s dying battery? Fortunately, Google has addressed the issue of low battery power efficiency in Android 12. Thanks to under-the-hood improvements, Android 12 achieves better power efficiency.
Moreover, the CPU time needed for core system services is reduced by 22%, and the use of big cores by the system is reduced by 15%. This makes your device faster and more responsive while significantly increasing the battery life.
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Android has introduced the Nearby Share option for users to share Wi-Fi credentials directly with a nearby device. This was achieved by using a QR code in the previous Android versions.
Although the QR code feature is retained in Android 12, the Nearby Share option makes this process more hassle-free.
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Screenshots are another feature that will see changes in the new version of Android. Though it is not a revolutionary change, but it does allow you directly edit the screenshots with editing tools, add text, stickers, or emojis in Android 12.
Another much-awaited feature that Android 12 is bringing to us is the scrolling screenshot. You can take a scrolling screenshot instead of having to click multiple screenshots to get the complete screenshot of a scrollable page.
Android 12 Updates
Speaking of Android 12 updates, you can now update Android 12 services directly through Google Play. This makes Android updates easier by negating the need for full system updates.
What this also means is that you will be able to get updates more efficiently without the involvement of the device’s OEM.
Android 12 devices have the ability to double up as a remote. You can now use your device to operate Android OS TVs including Google TV-enabled sets. It might not be an over-the-top feature but it does come in handy at times.
- App Hibernation: This new feature in Android 12 that will revoke app permissions for unused apps. It also clears temporary files and cache for these unused apps to provide more storage space. It helps boost performance on entry-level and/or old-generation devices.
- Better Emojis: Google is introducing newer, better emojis in Android 12. These changes are directed towards adding depth and practicality.
- Camera Support: Google has improved support for ultra-high resolution camera sensors to improve image quality and low-light performance.
- Third-party App Stores: Android is set to make downloading apps from different app stores easier on its latest version. Android 12 improves access to multiple app markets for users, making it easy for everyone.
Bonus features for developers:
- Camera Support: Google enables support for custom camera effects like bokeh, HDR, etc. introduced by device manufacturers through vendor extensions in its CameraX library. Moreover, these vendor extensions are exposed directly for the apps in Android 12, enhancing the camera.
- Faster Machine Learning: Google’s Neural Network API helps developers to make full use of ML accelerators. These drivers are directly update-able through Google Play Services outside the platform updates. This allows developers to use the updated drivers on all compatible devices.
- Rich Haptic Experience: Google has added extra haptic feedback options. The new APIs can be used by developers for rich haptic effects for enhancing user interface events, defining complex effects, etc.
That is all about most of the novel features in Android 12. Its new design successfully connects with the users’ emotions — just like Google aimed with Android 12. It brings several improvements in features, privacy settings, and developer options, making it the best version of Android — ever available!