Last Updated: 24 Jun 2021 | 8 min read | Category: Mobile App Development |
The beta versions of Android 12 are already here, with Beta 1 in May and Beta 2 and 3 between June and July. Being the most popular smartphone OS, you can be certain that everyone will use it, including the beta versions and the final release scheduled for release after August. If you have the beta version of Android 12 on your phone, then you probably know a thing or two about its features. However, if you don’t have it yet, you need to go through this write-up first. Here you’ll learn about the features of Android 12. This topic is especially useful to entrepreneurs and business owners planning to invest in app development services.
Most people know that Android is the world’s most favoured operating system for smartphones. Currently, it’s on 3 billion mobile devices across the globe. Being the most popular smartphone OS, even the smallest changes made to it can affect millions of users. Then again, the method followed by the Android team for releasing updates is unique. That’s why it’s somewhat debatable whether these changes can make a difference at all or not. Nevertheless, tech enthusiasts, commoners, business owners, entrepreneurs, and every Android app development company are always on the lookout for the next big update hoping that the team will finally introduce a significant change. The Beta 1 version of Android 12, also called Snow Cone, is now available. It came out in May, and the Android team has plans to roll out Beta 2 and 3 in June and July.
Android OS versions used to have dessert-themed names, as you probably know. However, Android 12 won’t have any other aliases. Google stopped giving names to Android OS versions with Android 10, after all. They chose this path to keep things simple and easy to follow. That said, Google didn’t entirely give up its penchant for dessert-themed names for the various versions of Android. Internally, they called Android 10 Quince Tart and Red Velvet Cake was the alias they picked for Android 11. For Android 12, they came up with Snow Cone.
Google didn’t mention an exact release date, but the company did share a timeline according to which it will act and release Developer Previews, Beta versions, and Stable versions. They initiated the Android 12 Developer Preview program in February 2021, which is going to continue until the final public release to OEMs and AOSP, planned for later this year.
Android 12 made its first public appearance through the first Developer Preview release that began rolling out on 18th February 2021. Soon after that, Google released a small patch to address specific bugs and problems experienced by users as they explored the first Developer Preview build. Then, on 17th March 2021, Android 12 Developer Preview 2 appeared followed by Android 12 Developer Preview 3 on 21st April 2021.
Just because you used the Developer Preview versions doesn’t mean you should start cooking ideas and plans to develop apps for it with the help of an Android app development company. These versions are unstable and not crafted for commoners. Google even reserved the right to include or exclude features at this stage. Therefore, you shouldn’t get surprised if you notice a few features missing in future versions. Any one of the testers can choose to omit one or two features. Besides, the Developer Preview versions will work only on the Google Pixel range of smartphones.
After a few of the Developer Preview releases, Google will introduce the Android 12 Beta versions. The first one is, of course, already here. It came out on 18th May 2021 as part of the Google I/O 2021 announcements. The beta versions will be much better than the Developer Preview variants. By using them, you’ll get a clearer idea of what the final version will be like. Folks may also encounter a few minor releases between the scheduled beta releases. Most of them will be bug fixes and nothing more.
Apart from supporting Google Pixel phones, Android 12 Beta 1 will also be available in the form of a GSI. It means that the Beta 1 version will work on a wider array of devices.
Now, it’s time to find you what you must – the features of Android 12. From everything available on Android 12, it seems that Google finally chose to change things significantly. Of course, the alterations that appeared over the last few years haven’t been as radical as the ones that came during the earliest days. It proves that this platform is maturing with time, and Android 12 isn’t different.
Experts say that this version will bring about the most noticeable UX changes for the OS since Android 5.0 Lollipop. As you can understand, learning about these features is of the utmost importance before you hire dedicated Android developers. Google didn’t say much in its official announcement, but a leaked version of Android 12 led tech specialists to discover just about everything it has to offer.
One of the most noteworthy changes on Android 12 is Material You, the next iteration of Material Design. Recognized in the past as Material NEXT, Material You is a design language that will be visible on several other devices fashioned by Google and not just on Android. However, for this smartphone OS, Material You is one of the largest visual overhauls of all time. It focuses a lot on customization and colours. It will allow users t select their favourite color swatches, line widths, contrast, element sizes, and more.
Google turned its attention towards Privacy in Android 12 and introduced the Privacy Dashboard and a few other associated changes. This dashboard will display the timeline of all apps accessing your handset’s microphone, camera, or device location. Android 12 will also present new indicators to show you when an app is using your phone’s microphone and camera. For specific apps that require the user’s location, Android 12 will offer a new setting that will allow the individual to share his/her approximate location with the app and not the precise location.
Do you realize now why you should take your time to hire dedicated Android developers? Building an app now without accounting for these changes may lead to more expenses as you may have to change something in your app for Android 12-powered devices to accommodate it. Moving on to the next feature that’s in tandem with Material You, Android 12 introduces wallpaper-based UX themes. It’s a system previously leaked as “monet.” It’s the result of years of work on RPO and OMS on the Android platform. Android 12 will automatically choose a set of correlative palettes of colour across the system UI depending on the shades in the phone’s wallpaper. Those colours will apply uniformly across elements, such as quick settings, lock-screen, notifications panel, as well as the new system called adaptive widgets.
App Hibernation is yet another feature introduced by Android 12. It lets you put specific apps into “hibernation” when you aren’t using them. Such apps will optimize their storage space and get their permissions revoked, temporarily, of course. The apps that you haven’t been using for months will go into hibernation by the express decree of Android 12. However, the final verdict will be yours. You can turn on or off the feature that puts unused apps into hibernation.
There will be a Private Compute Core system in Android 12 that will keep your data private, especially for several AI-controlled features, such as Now Playing, Live Caption, and Smart Reply. Providers of Android app development services should be able to help you understand how to use this feature for your business application. The Private Compute Core will act as a safe partition inside the operating system, just like the ones used for biometric and password data, for the Machine Learning features. With a separate partition for the data, the operating system will be able to save the data more proficiently.
Indeed, the features described above aren’t the only ones brought to the table by Android 12.
You will learn about them eventually, but first, you should consider some of the “unannounced” changes brought forth by Android 12 Beta 1.
Google finally improved its widgets in Android 12 by reworking the Widgets API. In doing so, it enhanced the user experience across several platforms, launchers, and Android skins.
For video recording and encoding purposes, Google has always been recommending the royalty-free AV1 codec. However, only a handful of hardware pieces can support hardware acceleration for encoding in AV1. Conversely, there’s H.265/HEVC, a video codec that isn’t royalty-free, but the most high-end Android devices released over the last few years can accommodate encoding with hardware acceleration. Compared to H.264/AVC, the video codec used by most camera apps on Android phones, Google says H.265/HEVC can record videos of the same quality but at half the bitrate, which, in turn, comes back to the user in the form of significant file size reductions.
By introducing Android 12, Google brought a setting that will show a popup whenever an app accesses the device’s clipboard, even if it’s in the foreground.
The list is quite a large one, and from it, you can probably guess that Google isn’t beating around the bushes with Android 12. Here are a few features that will be available on Android 12 in the future.
None of the leaks mentioned this feature. However, Google did express its intentions to build a “less stringent” variant of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency system. Google wants to strike a balance between an ad-supported ecosystem and privacy. Google’s representation of this feature won’t be as strict as it is on Apple’s devices and may not need developers to acquire permission from users for data tracking.
There have been rumours about a “letterbox” feature that Google has been experimenting with for some time. These letterboxes will probably be a new and unique way to put applications inside a frame or window. They will also have adjustable rounded corners and changeable background shades.
Runtime Resource Overlay or RRO of Android is going to get a major upgrade. RROs have conventionally been APK packages requiring installation on a device before activation. Android 12, on the other hand, will be able to generate non-APK RROs on the go.
Now you know about a couple of the features of Android 12. However, you must wait, at least until Google launches more beta versions of the OS before you consider hiring the providers of Android app development services. In the meantime, you can speak to app development specialists to get an idea of what will things be like in the sphere of Android with the release of the twelfth edition of the OS.
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