O Android 12 is in beta phase and the release of its stable version should take place between September and October 2021. The successor to Android 11 brings news in design, with the adoption of Material You, and also focuses on privacy features. The update should arrive for recent smartphones from Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi and other manufacturers, most often expected from 2022 onwards.
What’s new in features on Android 12?
Privacy in focus
Android 12 was introduced by Google during I/O 2021. At the time, the company cited some privacy features that will appear in the new system, including the new Privacy Panel, which more clearly displays the permissions an application has to access each data type or function of your device.
The panel has reached Android 12 Beta 2, and can now be used by anyone who participates in the testing program. The version also brought active microphone and camera indicators, which let you identify in real time when an app is using these features, and buttons to quickly disable apps’ access to these features.
Another Android 12 privacy feature is the clipboard read notification, which lets you know when software is reading stored content. As with iOS, you will be able to choose which apps use your precise location and which ones will receive your approximate location.
Design Material You adapts to you
The interface with Material You promises to adapt to your style, whatever it may be, being “accessible for all needs and adaptable to each screen”. System elements can change color according to your wallpaper, using complementary tones. Also, the quick controls are bigger and customizable.
Navigating the system promises to be a more fluid experience, with new animations that adapt to the available space on the screen. For example, by marking all notifications on the lock screen as read, the clock will increase in size to make it clear that there is nothing else to see there.
Another possibility: when the cell phone is put to battery recharge, a new circular animation will appear. If the recharge is done with cable, the circle will appear in the center of the screen; if by induction (wireless), the circle effect will start at the bottom edge and move upward.
Google will also pay more attention to widgets, implementing new interactive controls, including checkboxes and radio buttons.
Google Assistant also promises to be more useful. In Android 12 Beta 1, the software brought greater integration with third-party apps to receive commands such as playing on music players. With the shortcut function in the assistant, it will be possible to perform the most diverse actions in apps, such as ordering lunch in a delivery app.
Third-party widgets will also be better integrated with Google Assistant for extracting information without having to open the main app.
Games on Android 12
On-call gamers can celebrate this new feature: Android 12 will allow users to play titles even if the entire download hasn’t been completed. In addition, the system will have a panel with tools that promise to help improve the gaming experience and performance.
“Users want to start playing right away, but as the quality of the game continues to improve, its size increases, leading to long and boring downloads,” explained Google.
New network configuration, apps that sleep and more functions
To make managing connections easier, Android 12 has an Internet panel that lets you easily switch between carriers and Wi-Fi networks. Options can be accessed from the quick settings center via a pop-up.
To save your smartphone storage, Android 12 will also allow you to hibernate little-used apps (and programs that haven’t been used for a long time may go into hibernation automatically). In this way, temporary files are eliminated and there is also less risk of security issues.
Good news for developers (and users, of course), is that Android 12 is making it easier to use alternative app stores. The feature known as “setRequireUserAction” indicates whether or not user action will be required to start the installation of a package.
By enabling it, an app store can update an app without requiring confirmation. The requirements are that the user grants the platform permission to install apps from unknown sources, and that the app conforms to the new system method, using API level 29 (Android 10) or higher.
Some Google Photos issues should also be fixed with the new OS version. The first is that screenshots will no longer be automatically uploaded to the cloud, and images can be deleted without the user having to respond whether the action should continue or not.
Android 12 Beta 3 also revealed the possibility of taking screenshots of an entire page, including hidden parts — something similar to what already exists on Samsung phones and also on the iPhone. The new test version also brought improvements for automatic screen rotation and system search.
Google claims to have reduced the CPU time required for core system services by 22%. And to save your cell phone battery, Android 12 also uses 15% less heavy task cores, which consume more energy.
Which phones will receive Android 12?
Several manufacturers have already guaranteed the Android 12 update for their recent phones. As a rule, most models released in the last two years should receive the update when it is released to everyone by Google.
Samsung has the best update policy at the moment — devices from the Galaxy A and S lines, such as the Galaxy A51, Galaxy A72, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S20 have already been confirmed as compatible with the new OS. Even phones like the Galaxy A01 and A11 make the list, although this is probably their last version update.
On the other hand, some cheap Motorola models, such as the Moto G10, are not guaranteed to update their Android version. The Moto G60, however, is guaranteed to be updated. We will have to wait for confirmation from Motorola for other older phones.
Xiaomi will update several Mi 10, Mi 11, Redmi Note 9, Redmi Note 10 and Poco devices, but based on the manufacturer’s history, mid-range models may take a while to receive the update.
The list of phones that are already entitled to the Android 12 Beta is as follows:
- Asus Zenfone 8 (ZS590KS)
- Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3rd, 3rd XL, 4, 4 XL, 4th, 4th (5G), 5
- Nokia X20
- OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro
- Oppo Find X3 Pro (CPH2173)
- Realme GT
- Sharp Aquos R6
- 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)
Probably all of these should get quick access to the final version of Android 12 — Pixel being priority, of course.
To find out how to download Android 12 Beta, you must follow the guidelines on the official Google page, through this link, according to the brand of your smartphone.