Google’s latest Android OS, Android 12 first developer preview has just arrived, and it is available for download for various Pixel phones. Early reviewers (developers only) who have managed to get a first-hand experience of the upcoming Android OS version cites that Android 12 might get tons of changes. Also Read - Here's how US based Google Pay users can send money to India
Google says that the latest Android 12 OS build will be all about making the OS more intuitive, better performing, and more secure. Notably, Google is planning eight releases (three developer previews, four beta releases) before the stable build is launched later this year. Also Read - Google starts showing COVID-19 vaccine information in Search app
Speaking of the first Android 12 developer preview, the DP1 reveals new improvements, added functionality, some redesigns, and few minor tweaks. It is worth mentioning, that developer preview is intended for developers to test the upcoming OS apps and provide feedback. That said, here are some of the interesting features revealed in Android 12 developer preview. Also Read - Facebook Messenger becomes third non-Google app to garner five billion downloads on Play Store
Display cutout menu
This feature will allow users to hide the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a hole punch. This will come in handy especially while streaming content or playing games on the widescreen.
Android notification UI
The notifications UI get a modern look with a change in layout and font size. There is a tiny snooze icon on the bottom-right of message notification. On tapping, it will allow to quickly snooze the notification for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours. The background of notifications and Quick Settings get fresh coating from pure white/black backgrounds to bluish tint. Similar to the notification shade, the lock screen gets a translucent layer in the background.
Changes in Quick Settings tile
Android 12 developer preview shows the DND and Battery saver toggles placed in the first card, while mobile data toggle has been pushed to the second card and location toggle dropped from the default Quick Settings menu. Google has added a ‘Reduce Bright Colors’ option in Quick Setting toggle which allows reducing the screen brightness in addition to the standard brightness control. Further, you will be able to turn off certain media players on a per-app basis. The option can be accessed in the sound and vibration settings menu.
Widgets in Android have nearly remained the same for years, but that may change with Google’s latest Android 12. As observed by XDADevelopers, widget stacks appear on the screen where one can scroll left or right on similar widgets. Apparently, the feature is hidden but it is expected to be available in a later release.
Safety and emergency section
A new Safety and Emergency section can be seen in the settings menu. The section will provide quick access to emergency information like contact information, medical, etc.
Emergency SOS feature
Google has also added a new Emergency SOS feature which will allow you to trigger an emergency action by quickly pressing the power button five times. The Verge notes, that by default, the SOS feature is set to 911, but this number can be changed. However, if a non-emergency number is set, your phone will have to be unlocked to use it.
Scrolling screenshots feature is already available via third-party apps, however, Google didn’t add the feature in its custom Android OS. But support for scrolling screenshots has now been added to Android 12. While the feature was earlier in the Android 11 developer preview, it couldn’t make its way through to the stable build. XDADevelopers note that the feature is hidden and that it is still janky.
Add-ons to Screenshot markup, edit in Share Sheet
Google has added an option to Screenshot markup menu which will allow adding emojis besides other notes and doodles. Alongside the option of adding emojis to screenshot, Android 12 will enable editing any image file, and bring markup options similar to the screenshot editor.
Refined media controls
While Android 11 enabled quick access to media controls in the Notification shade, Google has enhanced the media controls on Android 12. As seen on the screenshot shared by XDADevelopers, the media player will take up a slightly larger space and pop-up a bigger media artwork with just an icon for the device.
Nearby Share for Wi-Fi sharing
To recall, Android 11 allowed users to share WI-Fi by scanning a QR code. Android 12 will make it even easier with the Nearby button that appears on the Wi-Fi network share screen.
Changes in Picture-in-Picture mode
Picture-in-Picture mode was introduced in Android Oreo, but it came with few limitations back then. While Android 11 brought the option of resizing the PiP window, this mode is said to have been refined on Android 12 with the new pinch-to-zoom functionality.
Android 12 hidden features
Apparently, Google is adding support for haptic-coupled audio effects through the phone’s vibration motor. With this tool, developers are expected to create an immersive game and audio experiences from ‘vibration strength.’ According to AndroidAuthority, an immersive mode will pop-up while viewing a full-screen mode or playing game. Google has also added multi-channel audio improvements (MPEG-H playback) in ‘passthrough and offload modes.’
Android 12 final build release date
Google has shared the Android 12 timeline on its official developer preview page. As per the timeline, three developer previews are scheduled till April, while beta releases will commence in May and end by August. Google hasn’t shared any tentative date for the final build release; however, Android 12 stable build is expected to arrive in Pixel devices in late August.
While Android 12 DP1 is strictly meant for developers testing only, regular users are recommended not to flash the developer preview on their primary devices. The developer preview is available on the following devices-
Google Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL.