Android 12 is already available on some smartphones in beta. List of new features, compatible smartphones … find everything you need to know about this new version of the Google OS.
When Google I / O 2021, we were able to attend the presentation of the beta 1 of Android 12, before beta 2 does not take over (but only on Pixels). Unlike the versions of the Developer Preview phase, this step makes it possible to confirm certain new features to come in the new mobile OS and to have a better finished overview of the user experience, even if bugs are still to be expected.
What's new, date of deployment, compatible smartphones… In this file, find all the information on Android 12.
Our handling of Android 12 in video
Android 12 deployment date
After a DP1 launched in February 2021, Android 12 has now entered its beta phase and, as usual, there will be a few more updates before the final release. The next betas will mainly bring better performance, improved stability and some adjustments of all kinds. Beta 2 was particularly expected for the arrival of important new features.
In the idea, remember that the official stable version of Android is scheduled for fall 2021.
What's new in Android 12
Below are all the new features in Android 12, whether officially announced by Google on the official blog or discovered using the system.
« Privacy is at the heart of everything we do, and in Android 12 we continue to give users more transparency and control while keeping their devices and data secure. », Assures Google. Several changes have been made within the system in this regard.
Application developers also need to be more transparent. When exporting and assigning activities or services, Android 12 requires more transparency. For example, it is now impossible for an app in the background to launch a service in the foreground.
The MAC address of the phone can no longer be accessed from an application.
Better user experience
Android 12 comes with a big aesthetic change driven by Google's new design philosophy: Material You. This redesign wants to offer as many customizations as possible so that the interface looks and matches the user's desires as much as possible. The accent colors thus adapt to the dominant color of the wallpaper for more immersion. However, this function is initially reserved only for Google Pixels.
Beyond that, Material You on Android 12 also brings much more roundness to the windows of the system. This is particularly the case with the volume or screen brightness bar, both of which are larger, but also with the multitasking screen, with widgets or with pop-up screens in the settings.
Note also a major reorganization of the quick settings tiles, while the locked screen has also been entitled to changes. The time, for example, is displayed larger when you have no notifications to further enhance your peace of mind.
Photo and video encoding / decoding
Android 12 brings a new layer of video decoding in order to make HEVC and AVC video formats work at all levels of the system, including in applications that do not support it natively. Using this format improves file compression and allows in fine save storage space.
For still images, the system adds support for the AV1 Image File (AVIF) format. This results in a much higher image quality than an equivalent size.
With Android 12, apps can now use the vibrations of haptic feedback to create a more immersive audio experience. For example, a video call application could integrate personalized ringtones in order to identify a caller through haptic feedback. This feature can also be used in games to simulate the granularity of a terrain for example in a racing game. Note also that the vibration can be redirected to the controller when a controller is connected.
Spatial audio is also supported to handle up to 24 audio channels (up from eight previously). On a related subject, Bluetooth audio management should also see a nice improvement thanks to Android 12.
Better management of verified links
Currently, if you open a Twitter link from the Facebook app, Android will ask if you intend to open the link with the Twitter app or through your browser. Android 12's DP3 simplified the process by automating this system. Therefore, if you have the appropriate application installed on your smartphone, the links will automatically open in the application, without going through your phone's Internet browser.
The display of notifications has been revised to bring a touch of modernity, such as preview before Android 12 launch. Besides a general redesign with transparency effects and new icons, transitions and animations have been improved for more fluidity.
A change in the triggering of notifications also aims to improve the speed of launching the application when clicking on a notification.
In addition, Android 12 will allow you to indicate the number of notifications grouped within the same group of notifications with a small counter. Convenient to know how many mails you have received without having to scroll down the list. It is also possible to fine-tune the notifications for each application to know what type of notification it has the right to send: messaging notification, default notification, silent notification or real-time notification.
Widget management made easy
To make it easier to find widgets, the widget selection screen now shows a list of different apps. Each of them can then be unrolled to reveal the different available widgets, organized in the form of a horizontal carousel, as before.
It is also possible to search for a widget using the dedicated search bar. Useful if you have installed many applications by offering. In addition, Android 12 will also integrate recommendations for widgets.
A game mode
Like many other brands, Google includes a new game menu in Android 12 (discovered in DP2). Although not available by default, this screen allows you to quickly manage certain phone settings, such as activating Do Not Disturb mode or an “FPS” option which should improve game performance. There is also quick access to streaming. on YouTube, when screenshot or screen recording.
Its presence in a “Google” package and not “Android” suggests that this would be an exclusivity of the Pixels.
Simply sharing Wi-Fi
To facilitate the sharing of your WiFi code, Android 12 includes a QR Code directly from the WiFi settings menu. Even simpler, it is possible to use proximity sharing to allow anyone to connect with a few clicks without having to copy the code or scan anything.
Improved Picture in Picture (PiP)
The Picture in Picture interface has been improved in Android 12. Now, a single click on the floating window displays the video player controls while a double click maximizes the window. Until now, a single click performed both of these actions while a double click brought the video back to full screen.
It is also possible to temporarily hide the floating window in order to easily consult the content that might be below.
A new one-handed mode similar to the iPhone
In Android 12, Google integrated a one-handed mode very close to what Apple offers on the iPhone. By sliding your finger down on the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, the display shrinks and descends to the lower half of the screen. The screen automatically returns to its normal size after a few seconds of inactivity (or by doing the opposite gesture).
The process has been even more simplified since Developer Preview 3 of Android 12, since this one-handed mode is now activated by default on Android 12. No need to dig into the settings to activate the “use one-handed mode” option. , since this option is now enabled by default. You only have to make the gesture to benefit directly from it.
Already available on many smartphones, the screenshotextended makes a shy entry on Android 12. Basic inaccessible, this feature can be activated via an ADB command, adding a button when taking a screenshot to scroll through the recording of the image. This function is still uncertain for the final version of the update.
Still regarding screenshots, Android 12 DP3 added a little welcome feature. In addition to the default font proposed for the annotations, it is possible to choose from several other writing fonts.
As part of the Project Mainline aimed at separating the blocks of Android from major updates, Android 12 integrates the ART module into the Google Play system in order to allow simplified updates of this layer allowing the execution of the applications. Improvements can thus be made to manage the execution performance of applications or memory management without requiring a major system update.
The different device formats are also better managed. After the optimization of the tablet format and that of folding screen smartphones, it is the turn of TVs to be entitled to it. Thus, the preview of Android 12 for Android TV is also available to improve the experience of applications on this platform.
Many other optimizations have been made to the system, such as improving gestural navigation for example to avoid false positives (or false negatives) as much as possible. We also think of hibernate long unused apps to free up storage, the fact that your smartphone can be used as a car key or from remote control on Android TV.
Smartphones compatible with Android 12
On these devices, you can therefore install the beta of Android 12. Note however that the program is suspended for the moment at OnePlus due to some technical issues.
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