Google has outlined what to expect on Android 12 at its annual developer conference called Google IO, which took place virtually in May. It also announced a major milestone: there are now 3-billion devices actively running on the Android operating system.
Here are some of the biggest changes you can expect on Android 12, coming out later this year.
Android 12 will have a completely new design under a language called “Material You”, which allows the user a deeper level of customisation and combination of colours, based off shades from a wallpaper. It uses colour extraction to find the dominant colours and which ones would be complimentary, to then apply it to the entire operating system. This includes notification shades, lock screen, volume controls, widgets, etc.
Don’t panic but the Settings menu that you’re accustomed to is going to be completely redesigned on Android 12. Menus will be larger, colour coded and appear in a bigger font that is clearly labelled. It could take a while to get used to and judging by some of the pics we’ve seen, appears almost cartoon-like. As with most changes, adjusting takes a while but if you have a handset that supports Android 12 beta, perhaps you could start playing around.
The pull down Quick Settings menu is where you can expect more major changes to appear, which is all tied into the colour scheme from Material You. Settings appear in rectangles with rounded edges and labels. It is larger than the current round icons and maybe a good thing as it would be easier to tap into. Google says the notifications shades are more intuitive and playful with a crisp view of app notifications, whatever you’re listening to or watching and Quick Settings.
Google has made Android 12 come alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone will now respond with smooth motions and animations. This is noticeable when you dismiss a notification on the lock screen – your clock will appear larger so you know when you’re all caught up. It will be faster and more responsive with better power efficiency. Under-the-hood improvements that make it possible includes reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.
Privacy and Security
Android 12 will have a new Privacy Dashboard from a single view to see which apps have access to your data. It includes what data is being accessed, the frequency and which apps. You can also revoke app permissions directly from this panel. Just like on iOS 14, Android 12 will also let you know via the top status bar which apps are using your microphone and camera. Removing access can be done directly on the Quick Settings Menu. You can also share approximate location instead of a precise one, for apps like the weather.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org