The 12th iteration of the world’s most used mobile operating system, Android 12 Beta 2, is officially here. As usual, Google started rolling out the public beta version of the Android 12 for Pixel phones. However, Google partnered with several major smartphone manufacturers such as Asus, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, and others to roll out the beta version in selected devices. For the uninitiated, Google follows a pattern before launching a newer version of Android OS. It first launches the developer preview followed by three versions Beta versions before finally launching its first stable build.
Android 12 sports the biggest redesign of any Android update yet. It is based on “Material You,” Google’s new way to think about the design. Android 12 is all about personalization and is meant to cater to the disparate needs of individuals by providing dynamically made themes based on the wallpapers applied.
Here are some of the major updates of the Android 12.
Material You: Redefined customization in Android 12
Material You is a wallpaper-based theming system that allows users to simply choose a wallpaper for their devices running Android 12. The system will then automatically generate a color palette by determining the dominant, complimentary, and optional colors from the wallpaper. These chosen colors will then be applied across the entire OS, such as the lock screen, notification shade, widgets, and volume controls.
Android 12 Beta 2 also debuts an all-new notification panel design that was previewed at Google I/O 2021. This new design is now more accessible and defined. It is loaded with an all-new power button added to the button row of the Quick Settings panel. Finally, the criticized half-swipe actions in the notification bar are now taken down, and swiping a notification will only dismiss it in Android 12. Users can, however, snooze the notifications using a dedicated snooze option provided right below the notification.
Android 12 is also receiving a whole bunch of smoother animations to provide users with a sense of fluidity and dynamism for system interactions. Currently, Material You is applied by default in the Beta version of the Android 12, and there is no way of either disabling it or adjusting the color palette.
Privacy Dashboard is one of the major changes added to Android 12. Privacy Dashboard allows users to have an easy and consolidated view of all the permissions accessed by the apps. It can include permission to the camera, microphone, and Internet access, among others. Moreover, Android 12 will let users control how much information they will share with the apps. With the new approximate location permission, users will be able to provide approximate location rather than the precise location to apps need the location information to function. This helps users prevent sharing their accurate location for safety and privacy concerns.
Shortcuts and gestures
Android 12 also comes with quick on/off toggles in the quick shade menu that can be used to disable mic, location, and camera access to all apps. Quick Access Wallet and Device Controls are removed from the power menu and are provided as Quick Setting tiles, which can be accessed in the notification bar. Users will also be able to enable/disable a dedicated floating button on the lock screen to access the Quick Access Wallet.
Google has also finally implemented the Quit Tap gestures on Android 12. Users will now be able to enable a double-tap on the back feature, which can be used to trigger actions such as taking a screenshot, accessing your digital assistant, play/pause media, open a particular app, and more.
Status bar indicator
Android 12 also sports a new indicator on the top right of the status bar. This is meant to let users know when apps are accessing either the microphone or camera. This again serves as a security and privacy measure Google has implemented in its upcoming Android OS.
Android 12: Wrapping it up
It is worth noticing that some of these updates, such as Quick Tap gestures and status bar indicator, are familiar with what we already see in most iOS-powered iPhones. On top of these major changes, Android 12 features a streamlined media player design, consolidated battery optimization settings, simplified connectivity experience, system toggles, new icons for the lock screen section, and more. On the other hand, there are also a bunch of bugs in the current Android 12 Beta version, but that is expected. Google’s roadmap of releasing three beta versions is meant to filter out these anomalies in the operating system to launch a refined, streamlined, and bug-free final public version. The final public release of Android 12 might contain new features that we are not aware of yet. It may also remove certain features we already see in the Beta 1 and 2 versions. While Google has not confirmed a date for the stable release, it is expected to be available in the latter part of the year, probably around September.