Android 12

Google has just released the first public beta of Android 12. It is now available for the Pixel smartphones and is coming soon to a handful of Xiaomi and OnePlus phones too. Let’s start with supported devices first, so here you go:

  • Pixel 3 and 3 XL;
  • Pixel 3a and 3a XL;
  • Pixel 4 and 4 XL;
  • Pixel 4a and 4a 5G;
  • Pixel 5.

What’s new in Android 12?

Let’s start with the design. Personalization is at the heart of Android 12, or so says Google. The official lingo for it all? Material You! The company has tweaked and played with aesthetic aspects such as color, shapes, light, and motion to overhaul the visual experience on your phone.

And for Pixels, Google is working on something new called color extraction. For example, the system creates a custom palette based on the colors in your wallpaper, and it then applies the uniform color scheme to different parts of the interface. The lock screen, notification shade, and volume controls have all received a facelift.

Animations are smoother, while the UI is now more fluid. But there’s more to it than just meets the eye. “This was achieved by some under-the-hood improvements including reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%,” notes the company.

What else?

The quick settings space has been redesigned to include Google Pay and Google Home controls, without jeopardizing with ability to customize it. Moreover, long-pressing the power button now brings up the Google Assistant to do your bidding.

Privacy and security received a major boost too. There is also a new Privacy Dashboard where you can view all apps and the permissions they’ve been granted, letting you easily revoke those you deem fit. Additionally, in the top-right corner of the screen, there’s now an indicator that tells you when an app is using the mic or camera. Additionally, new toggles now appear in the Quick Settings where you can kill an app’s access to these sensors.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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