Android 12: Features, hidden changes, release date and everything else you need to know

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(Pocket-lint) - Android 12 is undoubtedly the biggest refresh to the operating strategy successful years and - present that we're onto the 5th nationalist beta - that means we're getting an adjacent much wide in-hand representation of what the last bundle volition extremity up like. In fact, this is the past beta version. 

It's inactive precise overmuch a beta software, but with this being the last beta earlier authoritative release, it's not apt overmuch volition alteration betwixt present and erstwhile everyone gets their hands connected the last release. For now, this is each you request to cognize astir Android 12 successful its existent form. 

When volition Android 12 beryllium available?

  • Final nationalist beta: 8 September 2021
  • Official rollout for consumers: Around September 2021

Google usually follows a pattern: In the archetypal fewer months of the year, it launches a developer preview. This twelvemonth is nary different. Android 12's developer preview has been retired since February. It was primitively released connected 18 February 2021. 

As soon arsenic the opening keynote for Google I/O ended, the institution besides made the archetypal nationalist beta available to download, earlier pursuing it up with the 4 more. One each month. The final, finished mentation of Android 12 apt won't get an authoritative rollout to compatible handsets until September 2021.

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Motorola's caller Moto G9 Plus is simply a stunner of a telephone - find retired why, close here By Pocket-lint Promotion · 9 September 2021

Which phones get Android 12 first?

  • Pixel devices get Android 12 first
  • Next Pixel flagship will motorboat with it
  • Partner devices included successful archetypal nationalist beta rollout

As is standard, the archetypal phones to get the nationalist beta were Pixel phones:

  • Pixel 3 and 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a and 3a XL
  • Pixel 4 and 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a and 4a (5G)
  • Pixel 5

However, Android shaper partners person besides been included successful the archetypal rollout: 

  • Asus Zenfone 8
  • OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro
  • Oppo Find X3 Pro (specific regions only)
  • Realme GT
  • Sharp (update to come)
  • Tecno Camon 17
  • TCL 20 and TCL 20 Pro 5G
  • Vivo iQOO 7 Legend 
  • Xiaomi Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, Mi 11i and Mi 11X Pro
  • ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

When the final, finished mentation of Android 12 releases this autumn, it'll apt travel archetypal to the aforesaid database of selected devices, including Google's ain Pixel lineup. 

How to get the Android 12 nationalist beta

The nationalist beta is an aboriginal mentation of Android 12 specifically for testing. While it volition work, it's not recommended that you instal it connected your superior device. Pocket-lint has a usher here detailing however to get it.

If you're utilizing 1 of the approved 3rd enactment devices you tin find retired much here

Why is it called Android 12?

  • Google confirmed the sanction successful 2020

Google announced past September via an Android Developers blog post that the 2021 Android merchandise volition beryllium called Android 12.

The purpose present is to marque things much formal, truthful Google is utilizing a basal numbered attack alternatively than pushing the saccharine dainty names it utilized previously. However, we judge that Android 12 is besides being called Snow Cone - the S moniker appears concisely successful the presumption barroom erstwhile it archetypal boots up.

Is determination thing caller successful Android 12?

The abbreviated reply is: yes, a lot. By the clip the authoritative merchandise is disposable there's going to beryllium a full big of changes including a melodramatic overhaul of the idiosyncratic interface, positive caller customisation and privateness capabilities.  Here are immoderate of the changes already present. 


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Lock Screen Clock

The archetypal happening you'll apt announcement the archetypal clip you powerfulness up a telephone moving Android 12 is the caller fastener surface clock. With your telephone wide of notifications a ample integer timepiece takes up pridefulness of spot close successful the centre of the screen.


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PIN codification keys

When you swipe to unlock the telephone you'll announcement a caller plan for the PIN codification keypad. The 'buttons' are round, ample and minimal with pastel shades. We fishy this aforesaid plan volition yet diagnostic connected the telephone dialler too. 


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Notifications person undergone thing of a plan overhaul too. The benignant of notification windows has changed, and they're automatically grouped per app, oregon separated retired if they're not conversational. 

Also, there's an casual caller snooze power that you simply pat to snooze, alternatively than having to swipe connected the notification. Then you tin snooze circumstantial notifications for a acceptable magnitude of time.  


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Quick settings shade 

When you driblet down speedy settings and notifications from the apical of the surface you'll nary longer spot those small circular toggles. Instead, they've been replaced by overmuch larger rectangle controls, akin to those we saw successful Android 11's Power paper for controlling smarthome devices. 

What's absorbing present is the colour scheme. With beta 2 Google enabled the diagnostic that allows it to prime a colour automatically based connected immoderate wallpaper you have. So if your wallpaper is predominantly pink/purple, the speedy settings shadiness volition beryllium too. Or green, if your wallpaper is green. And truthful on. 


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Settings paper tweak 

Similarly, the full main Settings database has been simplified massively. Labels and icons are larger, portion the other subheading listing the features wrong that paper is nary longer there. In summation there's a springy-ness to the animation erstwhile you scope the apical oregon bottommost of the database that doesn't look successful Android 11.  

Enhanced screenshots 

Take a screenshot and caput to the edit/markup relation and you tin present benignant substance connected to your screenshots successful a fig of antithetic font colours. Plus you tin instrumentality immoderate emojis connected determination if you privation by pressing the small sticker icon. You tin resize them easy excessively by conscionable pinching to zoom. 

As a broadside enactment to that, you tin present easy disregard screenshot thumbnails by swiping them disconnected the screen. Simple. 

Share expanse representation edit

Similar to marking up screenshots above, erstwhile you spell to stock an representation record there's a caller 'Edit' enactment that lets you people up pictures earlier sending them on. Just bring up the default stock paper and pat 'more' wherever it loads your different apps and gives you the edit enactment adjacent to Nearby Share beneath the representation thumbnail. 

Privacy dashboard

One of the large caller authoritative changes is the Privacy Dashboard. It'll springiness you casual entree to spot what apps person accessed definite permissions. Whether that beryllium your camera and mic oregon location. What's more, erstwhile you archetypal motorboat an app and it wants entree to your determination you tin determine to person it lone get entree to an approximate determination alternatively than precise. 

Android 12 beta 2 besides added speedy on/off toggles successful the speedy shadiness paper that disable the mic, determination and camera truthful that thing tin entree them. 

Customisation and theming

Theming is simply a large portion of the Android 12's caller diagnostic list. In the customisation model you tin take to person the colours of your wallpaper find the accent and inheritance colours of the full feature. It besides allows you to toggle connected a "themed icons" diagnostic which transforms your app icons to colour-matched ones arsenic well. 


Android 12 photos photograph  16

Media Player interface

One of the much salient UI changes is the updated media power widget that appears successful the drop-down paper you erstwhile you person euphony playing. Google has enlarged it, making it span astir the full width of the surface and adjusted the layout truthful the controls are person to the mediate of the screen. It besides takes up much abstraction connected the Lock Screen erstwhile active. 

Now, if you're playing the euphony connected your telephone locally, you tin pat the tiny small icon successful the country of the widget and this brings up a caller playback determination popup window. Here you tin set the euphony measurement oregon rapidly brace a caller instrumentality similar a brace of earbuds of a Bluetooth speaker. 

App shortcuts menu

Another rather tiny tweak to the interface comes successful signifier of the caller pop-up shortcut paper that appears erstwhile you pat and clasp an app icon. The paper is larger, with each bid separated and taking up much abstraction connected the screen, apt to marque it easier for radical to use. 

Nearby Share for Wifi passwords

This is simply a perchance useful diagnostic that lets you rapidly stock your WiFi web details with radical successful the aforesaid country arsenic you. So portion you could stock your Wi-Fi utilizing a QR codification scanner before, if you look beneath that successful Android 12 you present get the enactment that says 'Nearby'. Tap connected it, crook connected Nearby sharing and past it'll look for devices adjacent you to stock the details with. 


Android 12 photos photograph  21


Widgets person been wholly redesigned to connection a much adjustable model and 1 that's designed to acceptable successful with the remainder of the rounded, affable interface. The speech widget shows caller conversations, and Photos has a memories widget that tin aboveground memories from Google Photos close connected your location screen.  


Android 12 photos photograph  17

One-handed mode

It wasn't included successful the archetypal preview, but there's present a caller one-handed mode that you tin enable. It made its archetypal quality successful the 2nd developer preview and could marque utilizing larger-screened phones a batch easier successful future. When it's active, each you person to bash is resistance down from the bottommost borderline of the telephone and it brings the app you're viewing down halfway, to marque the apical of it easier to reach. 

New picture-in-picture controls

PiP has been astir successful Android for a portion and means you tin person a tiny floating video playing connected surface adjacent erstwhile you're not successful the video app. The caller controls marque it imaginable to enlarge the model without going full-screen. 


Android 12 photos photograph  1

Double-tap motion for Pixel phones

Google is moving double-tap motion to Pixel phones with Android 12.

When enabled you tin springiness a speedy double-tap to the backmost of your telephone to instrumentality a screenshot, but you tin programme it to bash different worldly too. It tin beryllium configured for different actions, too, similar to instrumentality motorboat Google Assistant, pause/resume media playback, unfastened the notification shade, and unfastened the caller apps view.

What's not determination yet? 

Google announced a big of caller changes coming to Android 12 by the clip it's official. Similarly we've seen leaks and rumours suggesting what could travel successful future. These aren't presently successful the archetypal nationalist beta: 


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Easier, harmless entree to 'other app stores'

Google said successful a blog station past autumn that Android 12 volition “make it adjacent easier for radical to usage different app stores connected their devices portion being cautious not to compromise the information measures Android has successful place". It didn't elaborate connected what this means, specifically, oregon however it volition work. But we're assuming you'll beryllium capable to rapidly entree apps successful third-party stores with your device, and determination volition beryllium information protections successful place.


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Restricted Networking mode

XDA Developer's Mishaal Rahman dug into Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit entries and spotted mentions of a caller Restricted Networking mode. Specifically, erstwhile enabled, the diagnostic would let apps with a "connectivity usage restricted networks" support to entree the network. Other apps connected your telephone without that support wouldn't beryllium capable to nonstop oregon person data.

Mishaal indicates this support tin lone beryllium granted to privileged system apps signed by the OEM. This, therefore, doesn't look to beryllium a system-level configurable firewall, but it inactive has absorbing use-case potential. Imagine if Google offers a user-facing settings enactment to restrict net entree connected a per-app basis. However, it's not wide yet however Google mightiness instrumentality its Restricted Networking mode into Android 12.


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App Pairs split-screen experience

Android 11 offers a split-screen experience, wherever you tin unfastened 2 apps connected your instrumentality astatine the aforesaid time. For Android 12, 9to5Google said Google is moving connected an improved mentation called App Pairs. Currently, divided surface efficaciously “pins” 1 app, but Android 12’s App Pairs strategy volition radical 2 apps unneurotic arsenic 1 “task" truthful you tin take 2 of your precocious opened apps to go a pair. This diagnostic was besides shown disconnected by XDA Developers aft the preview landed. 

Once paired, you should beryllium capable to toggle betwixt utilizing a antithetic azygous app and the brace you created. 9to5Google shared a mockup of however the diagnostic looks. (You tin spot it above. The near is Android 11 now. The right, however, shows however the recents presumption treats a brace arsenic 1 associated activity.) Android 12's App Pairs offers a divider, too, to fto you set however overmuch of the surface is utilized up by an app.


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OS updates straight from Play Store

Android 12 mightiness besides marque it easier for Google to straight present operating strategy updates. XDA Developers noticed the institution plans to adhd Android Runtime (ART) arsenic a Mainline module successful Android 12, allowing it to propulsion much operating strategy updates done Google Play Store, alternatively than sending them implicit the air. This could effect successful much predominant updates and less hangups from telephone manufacturers.


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'Hibernate' unused apps to escaped up space

XDA Developers discovered Android 12 could person a diagnostic that "hibernates" unfastened apps not presently successful use, making them little power-intensive and freeing up space. Based connected codification changes submitted to AOSP, Google, specifically, is adding a caller system, “that manages app hibernation state, a authorities apps tin participate that means they are not being actively utilized and tin beryllium optimized for storage".

Android 12: What's happened truthful far?

Here's everything we've heard astir Android 12 truthful far.

8 September 2021: Public beta 5 - the last beta

Google has rolled retired the last beta mentation of Android 12. Next up, the authoritative release. 

9 June 2021: Public beta 2 is available

Android 12's 2nd nationalist beta has been launched and is disposable to download. 

18 May 2021: It's official! 

Android 12 has been shown disconnected by Google and it features a big of changes and a caller fresh look. 

17 March 2021: Second developer preview arrives

Google released the adjacent developer preview mentation astir precisely 1 period aft the archetypal and introduced a fewer caller features. 

18 February 2021: Google releases Android 12 developer beta

Google has made the developer beta of Android 12 disposable to download and instal connected Pixel devices. 

16 February 2021: Android 12 Snow Cone mightiness adhd bundle features OEMs person offered for years

Rumours suggest that Android 12 might introduce a one-handed model, rolling screenshot and mightiness springiness Pixel owners a face-based surface rotation feature.

9 February 2021: Possible Android 12 interface leaks early, shows caller widget design

Images said to come from the descent showing Android 12's visuals person leaked, giving america a look astatine what we mightiness expect from the software.

25 January 2021: Android 12 could adhd double-tap motion for Pixels

9to5Google claimed Google is moving to bring a double-tap motion to Pixel phones with Android 12. Codenamed Columbus, this motion tin invoke Google Assistant, and it tin beryllium configured for different actions. You conscionable person to bash a speedy double-tap to the backmost of your telephone to usage it.

21 January 2021: Android 12 acceptable to amended divided surface with ‘App Pairs’

9to5Google claimed Google is moving connected a revamped mentation of divided surface called “App Pairs.”

19 January 2021: Android 12 mightiness fto you hibernate unused apps

XDA Developers claimed Google is moving connected an app hibernation diagnostic to escaped up abstraction for Android 12.

19 January 2021: Google mightiness present a Restricted Networking mode with Android 12

A handful of commits merged to AOSP picture a caller restricted networking mode diagnostic perchance for Android 12.

25 November 2020: Google to marque the Android Runtime (ART) a Mainline module

XDA Developers claimed Google plans to see the Android Runtime (ART) arsenic an updatable Mainline module successful Android 12.

30 September 2020: Google is already talking astir Android 12 changes

We didn't expect Google's first notation of Android 12 - the adjacent iteration of Android expected successful 2021 - to beryllium astir app stores and fees.

Writing by Maggie Tillman and Cam Bunton. Originally published connected 21 January 2021.

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