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Android 12: Beta, Features, and a Promising New Experience

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News has been going around about the release of Android’s next version and we couldn’t be more excited. Finally, android 12 is official, and it’s one of the biggest upgrades announced during the last Google IO 2021.

Photo from Google Blog | Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

But don’t get carried away just yet; Android 12 is still in active development. For now, users are only able to download the Beta 2, the pre-release version suitable for developers and users. In addition, it’s only eligible for a select number of popular devices, and don’t expect that everything will go impeccably smooth as of yet.

Still, there’s enough information that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Here’s what we know about Android’s future releases:

Getting Started: Android 12 Beta

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

First off, know that not all users can get a glimpse of the Android 12 Beta program. Currently, it is available only to Pixel phones and on devices from select manufacturers like Oppo and Xiaomi. Therefore, it is also important to know which devices are eligible for the Beta version and what to expect in the program before signing up. 

Similar to previous Android versions, there are behavior changes included in the upcoming Android 12 to improve performance, battery life, and security. Note: Although most apps will work, there will be minor issues and bigger limitations while using the Beta version. Test first for compatibility, and you may raise issues in their tracker.

Some of these changes include stronger privacy features through the privacy dashboard where users have better visibility over the data that apps have access to. There are also smart security and privacy improvements like microphone and camera toggles. Other behavior changes apply in UX by redesigning your systems and connectivity.

Let’s talk more about those new features in detail and Android 12’s promising user experience.

New Features and a More Personal Experience

We know that Android is all for personalization. It gives you the option to tailor an experience that is right for you, and its latest release builds on that promise.

Photo from Google Blog | Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

Android 12 is said to get the biggest design change in the history of Android. Software and hardware are unified into what they call Material You, a radical design perspective. You can personalize the look of your phone entirely from color palettes and widgets. Android 12’s smart color extraction enables your whole OS to follow a color palette based on your selected wallpaper.

Interactions are smooth with their fluid motion and animations. Moreover, it’s made even faster and more responsive without worrying about your battery power. How fast is fast, you ask? Under-the-hood improvements claim to reduce CPU time for core system services by up to 22% and big cores by the system server by 15%.

Photo from Google Blog | Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

In terms of privacy, it just got better. Android 12 offers more transparency with a single view of app permission settings, complete with access information. You can now remove permissions easily straight from the dashboard. There’s also an indicator to let you know if any apps are accessing your camera or mic. Enable and disable camera and mic access through a single press of its Quick Settings toggle option.

Photo from Google Blog | Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

Apps can also be now limited to just an approximate location rather than your precise whereabouts which is useful in things like weather apps. It’s a step up in your privacy without sacrificing forecast accuracy.

One huge technology related to Android 12’s privacy features is the Private Compute Core. This allows audio and language processing to be isolated from the network and only occur on your device. This applies to features like Live Caption and Smart Replies.

Other cool new features include Car Key, where you can lock and unlock your smart car using your phone — even start the engine! Android is said to be working with BMW for this awesome capability.

Android 12 Release Date

Photo from Android

Now we’re all excited, but when is Android 12 going to be released generally? No official date has been announced yet but let’s look at their timeline for a good guess.

Android 12 Beta 2 has been up this June 2021 and is ending Platform Stability on August 2021. This means that Android 12 has reached final app-facing behaviors, APIs, and no further changes will affect your apps. It’s expected that the final release will be arriving around September this year, around the same time as previous Android releases.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Google Blog | Android 12 Beta: Designed for you

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