Google gives an update for its Android operating system each year introducing new features and designs that keep the software in fine fettle, and the new version for 2021 is Android 12. Launching later this year, Android 12 will bring about a whole new design language and a host of new privacy features, among other improvements, to Google’s device ecosystem.
This latest version of android is expected to be launch later this year in pixel. The latest version of Android is usually first seen in developer previews in March, then publicly previewed at Google’s I/O event in May. The first developer preview of Android 12 went live on 18 February, granting developers their first chance to sink their teeth into the update (with the second preview touching down on 17 March and the third on 21 April), before Google officially revealed the new OS at its annual I/O developer conference on 18 May, launching its first public beta at the same time.
One of the main areas of excitement for any new version of Android will be Material You, Material You builds upon Google’s material design and alters how the system looks according to user interactions. The operating system will dynamically customize the system’s colour palettes by customizing personal elements like wallpapers, and respond to touches with animations. For the latter, Google demonstrated a new ripple effect when the user picked up the phone or when the power button is pressed.
Google has also improved the animation by reducing background tasks, mainly lock contention in key system services like activity window and package manager. Apps can now scale better across different display formats and sizes, better utilizing free space.
Beyond the facelift, Google has also redesigned settings access. The pulldown notification shade will be more intuitive with bigger buttons. Google Pay and smart home controls will have their own spaces in Quick Settings. Long holding the power button will summon the Google Assistant.
Android 12 will feature a new Privacy Dashboard. Here, users will find a summary of permission settings and adjust them accordingly. Bouncing between multiple menus to change permissions for different apps is no more needed. The Privacy dashboard will also present sensor access per app with a timestamp, adding a bit more transparency into what the phone’s doing when the user’s looking away.
The new update will allow the users to have more control on microphone and camera. When they’re active, Android 12 will display a persistent icon in the top status bar.
Private Compute Core is another big new feature coming in Android 12.This looks to be a software solution that isolates sensitive user data used for local AI processing. Google has made the code for Private Cloud Core open source and freely inspectable by the security community.
Google Pixel phones and 11 brands including OnePlus, Xiaomi and TCL already have access to the beta version of Android 12.