While many of us are still awaiting the Android 11 update for our phones, an early appearance of the next version of Android is already here. Google released the Android 12 Developer Preview (DP 1) on February 18, 2021. It is currently available for Pixel 3, 3a, 4, 4a, 4a (5G), and 5.

The current build is meant for testing, development, and feedback. It would be unrefined and unstable. Hence, general users are not advised to flash it.

Having said that, let’s take a deep dive into what’s all new with the Android 12 DP 1.

Android 12 DP 1: New Changes, Features, and Improvements

1. One-Handed Mode

One-Handed Mode on Android 12 works much like Reachability on iOS, wherein you get to vertically pull down the UI elements.

2. Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Mode

The Picture-in-picture mode (PIP) will benefit from a new pinch-resizing feature as well as stashing (dragging them and hide up to a third of the PIP window off-screen in left or right edges). This will make them less intrusive, allowing you to interact with other on-screen elements. And when you want, you can unstash them too.

3. Media Player Control in Quick Settings

Credits: XDA

In Android 12, you’ll be able to choose which apps will show media playback controls on the quick setting drawer.

In Android 12, you’ll be able to choose which apps will show media playback controls on the quick setting drawer.

4. Instant SOS, Safety & Emergency Area

Android 12 will let you call emergency services by clicking the power button 5 times in quick succession.

There is also a dedicated section within the System Settings wherein you’ll find all the safety and emergency-related toggles.

ALSO READ: How to Nearby Share Play Store apps

5. Snooze notifications

In Android 12, you’ll have a Snooze toggle next to the notification banner, tapping which you can schedule it to remind you at a later time.

6. Scrolling Screenshots; Screenshot Editor

When you take a screenshot, the ensuing edit option will let you take a longer snapshot, add emojis, texts, and highlight portions of the captured image.

Credits: AndroidPolice

7. Silky Home UI

Silky Home is a new system settings interface that has bigger and easier-to-reach UI elements. The only problem is that it is hidden and you have to activate the developer flag using ADB shell commands:

adb shell settings put global settings_silky_home true

ALSO READ: 10 Cool ADB tricks to try on your Android phone

8. Material NEXT design, System-wide Wallpaper-based Theming

Earlier from XDA revelations, we had learned that Google is on a road to Material NEXT design which is likely to introduce revamped AOD, lock screen, and notification tray layout.

Last month, we had heard of a native system-wide theming option on Android 12. Well, these new snapshots hint at the same. If it is what we think, then you should be able to pick a primary and an accent color and apply it through most of the user interface.

Rest here, we see more rounded corner elements, a lesser number of quick settings tiles in the expanded form, and the changed placement of date and time labels.

9. Conversations Tab and New Widgets

The notification tray looks a touch different. The unbundled “conversations” tab (that was introed in Android 11) is still present. The background is, however, not transparent, rather opaque. The color (beige in this case) is presumably based on the chosen system-wide theme.

Inspired by iOS, Google seems to have baked in new widget types. For instance, take a look at the “Conversation” widgies. This is likely to present recent messages, missed calls, or activity statuses (one at a time) along with the name and avatar of the sender.

10. Smarter Autorotation, Gaming Mode, Reduce Bright Colors QS tile, Bubbles, App-pairs, Double Back Tap, Improved Gesture navigation, WiFi Nearby Share

Android 12 features, tips and tricks

Android 12 will be using the phone’s front-facing camera to detect the position of the user’s head and accordingly fix the orientation.

Next, there’ll be a “GameManager service” that will be a “service to manage game-related features.” This could cover things like “manage the game mode and persist the data” across reboots, inform you about the connected Bluetooth device’s power level, automatic controls for brightness, rotation, and DND mode, among other things.

There will be also an accessibility Quick Settings tile to “Reduce Brightness.”

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Bubbles will receive new animations and usability tweaks in way of their resizing, positioning, and landscape implementation. Some of these are pertaining to their use cases in Chrome OS. Nonetheless.

There is ‘App-pairs’ which lets you set a combination of apps that you can concurrently open in split view. This will be a convenient feature in big tall devices such as foldables and tablets.

There will be a nifty gesture to trigger Google Assistant or any other action by simply double-tapping on the back of the phone. This feature is code-named Columbus.

If you are having an immersive full-screen experience such as games, videos, etc, then in Android 12, you can exit to the previous screen just with a single swipe.

The Wi-Fi network share screen now has a Nearby Share option to quickly send the Wi-Fi access to others.

11. Support for Haptic-coupled audio effect, AVIF image-standard, HEVC video, Rich content

Developers can incorporate haptic feedbacks to various audio elements in their apps. For instance, once implemented, this could offer more immersive and real reactions to instances in games.

There will be better native support for efficient media standards such as AVIF and HEVC.

Apps will also have enhanced access to rich content like images, videos, and audio from other apps, the clipboard, keyboards, etc.

12. Privacy Controls

The status bar shows new privacy indicators for the use of a camera and microphone. Tapping the status bar icons will show you the app that’s using these settings. Furthermore, you will also have the option to completely turn off the camera and microphone, if you wish so.

XDA guys reveal both the Privacy controls and Conversations widget will be a mandatory part of Android 12, regardless of skin variations. A few other features you could look forward to in the oncoming Android release are decoupled emojis and the built-in app hibernation option. In the days leading to the first Dev and Beta build announcements, we will be receiving more such feature revelations. So, watch this space!

ALSO READ: How to remove duplicate songs from YouTube Music playlist

Android 12: Sweet name, Release Schedule, Project Mainline, and Download

Source: Flickr

According to XDA, Android 12’s internal code name will be Snow Cone, although this won’t appear in public releases.

Google is expected to release the stable public build in August or mid-September.

If you are a developer, you can find the download links for Android 12 here.

Credits: XDA Developers, Android Police


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