The conference Google I / O 2021 brought more news about the Android 12, some of which have been leaked in recent weeks: the operating system will receive “the biggest design change in its history,” according to the company, thanks to Material You. There are also more privacy features, including a control that bars all apps from access the camera and microphone.
Android 12 and new Material You interface
The concept of Material You it is a design that is “personal for each style, accessible for all needs, and adaptable for each screen”. Part of this is achieved through color: Android 12 will take the dominant tones from your wallpaper, combine them with complementary tones and apply them throughout the system, including the notification screen, lock screen, volume controls and widgets.
The look on notifications screen is different, bringing colors based on your wallpaper and larger quick controls (which can be customized). Here, you’ll also be able to access Google Pay cards and connected home controls. And now, the on / off button will activate Google Assistant – just hold it down and say your voice commands.
The transitions have become more fluid, and there are some new animations: for example, if you dismiss all notifications on the lock screen, the clock will increase in size to make it clear that there is nothing else to see there.
You widgets also received a lot of attention from Google (finally!). They got new interactive controls like checkboxes and radio buttons; adopted rounded corners and responsive layouts for different types of screens; and received dynamic color APIs to create a personalized and consistent look. It will be easier to add a widget to the home screen thanks to an improved selector and an integration with Google Assistant.
This is all part of the Material You experience: colors, shapes, lights and movement. This design paradigm will permeate Android and other Google products in the future, in a transition that should take a few years. It will initially be present in the Pixel line cell phones.
Android 12 brings privacy features
There is also a focus on privacy: the new Privacy Panel (Privacy Dashboard) shows the permissions given to each app, what data is being accessed, how often and by what applications. Here, you can also revoke these permissions easily.
In the top right corner of the screen, an indicator will appear when an app is using the camera or microphone, as is already the case with iPhones. But Android 12 goes further: you can touch a button to prevent all apps from accessing your microphone or camera.
Another Apple-inspired novelty: you can choose which apps access your precise location, and which ones will receive only the approximate location – such as weather forecast widgets.
And we have a nice addition called Android Private Compute Core, an area of Android 12 where all audio and language processing takes place on the device, without relying on the cloud. This will be used by Google features like Live Caption, Now Playing and Smart Reply; it will also be available to other developers.
About the performance, Google claims to have reduced the CPU time required for core system services by 22%, freeing up resources for applications. And to save the phone’s battery, Android 12 also uses 15% less heavy-duty cores, which consume more energy.
How to download Android 12 Beta
Android 12 Beta 1 was released on Tuesday (18) for the Google Pixel line and other cell phones. This version is (or will be) available for the following models; check out more details in this link:
- Asus Zenfone 8 (ZS590KS)
- Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4 XL, 4a, 4a (5G), 5
- Nokia X20
- OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro
- Oppo Find X3 Pro (CPH2173)
- Realme, models will be announced soon
- Sharp, models will be announced soon
- TCL 20 Pro 5G
- Tecno Camon 17
- Vivo iQOO 7 Legend
- Xiaomi Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, Mi 11i and Mi 11X Pro
- ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (China)
The final version of Android 12 will be released in the third quarter of 2021.