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Google Announces Android 12 Beta

Posted May 18, 2021 | Android | Android 12 | Dev | Google | Windows

With over 3 billion Android devices now in use around the world, Google has released the first beta of Android 12 with a new user interface.

“Android 12 is one of our most ambitious releases ever,” Google vice president Dave Burke says. “We focused on a new UI that adapts to you, improving performance, with privacy and security at the core. For developers, we’re giving you more tools to build delightful experiences for people on phones, laptops, tablets, wearables, TVs, and cars.”

That new UI is big news, and Google describes it as the biggest design change in Android’s history.

“We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light, and motion, making Android 12 more expressive, dynamic, and personal,” Burke continues. “This work is being done in deep collaboration between our software, hardware, and Material Design teams, and we’re unifying our software and hardware ecosystems under a single design language called Material You.”

Android 12 provides deeper personalization features than ever before, with custom color palettes and redesigned widgets. It uses a feature called color extraction to automatically determines which colors are dominant in the wallpaper chosen by the user, and which ones are complementary, and it applies those colors across the entire OS, in the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets and elsewhere. It also features smooth motion and animations, simpler and more efficient interactions, and performance improvements of up to 22 percent.

Android 12 widgets

Android 12 will also include new privacy and security features, including a new Privacy Dashboard that offers a single view into your permissions settings, a new indicator in the status bar so you know when an app is using your microphone or camera, and new approximate location permissions similar to those Apple created for iOS 14.

Where the Android 12 developer previews were only available on supported Pixel devices, the beta is available on a much broader range of devices from companies such as ASUS, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Tecno, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Developers can also access the beta via an Android device emulator for Android Studio.

You can learn more on the Android Developer website.

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