Google’s recent release of Android 12 Beta 4 is a significant step in its scheduled plan for the official release. If you’re looking for the latest updates regarding Android 12, then you’ve stumbled across the right page.
While Android 11 brought significant back-end refinements to Google’s OS for mobile, with the addition of a built-in screen recorder and the chat bubbles; the latest Android version is directed more towards the front-end improvements.
As per Google, the new Android OS brings the ‘biggest design change in Android’s history’ leading with its dynamic design system called ‘Material You.’ With Material You, users get the choice to personalize the OS according to their own taste.
From a redesigned UI to key feature updates including Privacy Dashboard, faster animations, smarter notifications, and more, follow through with the article to get the best-detailed coverage on Android’s latest OS.
Release Date of Android 12
With the latest release of the fourth beta version of Android 12, Google seems to be right on track with its development program of the new Android OS.
The development program that first began with a developer preview in Feb 2021 has been on a steady improvement pace with subtle tweaks and upgrades being rolled out over these past six months.
To get a proper idea of when the new Android 12 is going to be officially released, let’s first check out the release trend of the previous four versions:
Android 8 – August 21, 2017
Android 9 – August 6, 2018
Android 10 – September 3, 2019
Android 11 – September 8, 2020
If we go by this consistent trend that Google has been following since 2017, we can expect that there will likely be a broad rollout of its final and stable Android 12 version in the upcoming month of September.
Since Google also announced the sixth lineup for its top-notch Pixel flagship on Aug 2, it is more than speculated that Android 12 will be launched alongside the new Pixel 6 series.
Since the reveal and release of the first public Beta at the I/O event in the spring of this year, Google’s Android 12 program has been on a progressive pace as per its schedule.
The latest Beta 4 rollout for Android 12 has set off the course of the program towards the ‘Platform Stability’ approach.
And at this momentum, there are likely going to be either one or two more betas kept in the pipeline for the next couple of weeks before a final version is rolled out in the upcoming month of September.
Google’s Android 12 program first started with the release of developer previews in Feb 2021 undergoing various tweaks and the addition of new features over the next 3 months.
What followed was the hands-on testing with the public Beta versions that kicked off from May of this year. To get a better idea, here’s the official timeline for the new Android 12 OS up until the date of publishing:
Android 12 Developer Preview 1 – February 18, 2021
Android 12 Developer Preview 1.1 – March 3, 2021
Android 12 Developer Preview 2 – March 17, 2021
Android 12 Developer Preview 2.2 – April 7, 2021
Android 12 Developer Preview 3 – April 21, 2021
Android 12 Beta 1 – May 18, 2021
Android 12 Beta 2 – June 9, 2021
Android 12 Beta 2.1 – June 23. 2021
Android 12 Beta 3 – July 14, 2021
Android 12 Beta 3.1 – July 26, 2021
Android 12 Beta 4 – August 11, 2021
Beta 4 Features
Apart from the renaming the toggle of Home controls to Device controls and the newly labeled ‘beta’ themed icons, here are some top features that the new Beta 4 sports:
Android 12 Easter Egg
The latest Beta update comes out with the much-awaited Android 12 easter egg. While there is no action mini-game like the Android 11’s cat game, the live easter egg gives prominence to the dynamic color theming that the whole Android 12 update centers around.
To access the Android 12 easter egg, head over to Settings>About phone>Android version. Keep tapping on the android version ‘12’ till an easter egg pops up on your screen.
Once opened, you’ll be presented with your Material You styled wallpaper with a 12 in the center. On tapping it thrice, you’ll be shown a clock widget indicating the current time. If you spin the hands of the clock to 12:00, an Android 12 logo will animate along with different sized circles representing colors from your set wallpaper.
New Feature in Recent Menu
Beta 4 brings out a neat feature of quick image sharing to the Recent Menu. The Recent menu now recognizes images. So, if you tap on any image within the app while still in Recents, you’ll be presented with the options of ‘Lens, Copy, Share, and Save.’
Moreover, if you drag the image to ‘More’, you’ll be listed with all of the available sharing options, all while within the Recent menu. This feature has ushered quicker accessibility to share images in a pretty cool way.
Improved Cropping Tool
The new Beta 4 update discards the previous copping tool’s corner tabs and replaces them with centrally aligned circular grip tabs to make resizing easier.
In addition to providing greater accuracy with its color appropriate guidelines, the Android 12 Beta update also helps you to better crop with clear outline spotting and fine-tuning the selections to the right shape and size while using the cropping tool.
New Settings Page Makeover
Though the earlier Beta phases saw notable changes in the Settings pages, the change has reflected even further with the Android 12 Beta 4 version. Now almost all the Settings pages and sections showcase better adaptation to the set system color.
Return of Wi-Fi Toggle
With the Beta 4 update, the previously missing Wi-Fi toggle has returned to the Internet pop-up panel. You can now easily toggle On/Off the device Wi-Fi from the Internet section.
Fully Usable Game Dashboard
The Beta 4 Android 12 version inducts a working in-game quick toggle that lets you easily access all the tools that you might need while gaming.
With direct access to the FPS counter, Do Not Disturb mode, YouTube live streaming, and even screen recording and screenshots, you can easily toggle the required feature effortlessly from the floating widget.
If you happen to own a Pixel starting from the Pixel 3 series model, you’re eligible to install the Android 12 Beta. And while Pixel is Google’s own brand of smartphones, the availability of running the Android 12 beta is also permitted over a dozen other third-party handsets.
Here’s a list of all the handset devices from 11 manufacturers (excluding Pixel) with which you can install and run the beta of the upcoming Android OS.
Pixel 3 / 3 XL
Pixel 3a / 3a XL
Pixel 4 / 4 XL
Pixel 4a / 4a 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11
Xiaomi Mi 11i (Mi 11X/Redmi K40 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro (China-only)
OnePlus 9 Pro
Other 9 Manufacturers:
OPPO Find X3 Pro
Vivo iQOO 7 Legend
ASUS ZenFone 8
Sharp AQUOS Sense 5G
Tecno Camon 17
TCL 20 Pro 5G
ZTE Axon 30 5G Ultra
What’s New in Android 12 Compared to Android 11?
Even though Android 11 saw a lot of changes and upgrades, let’s check out what else is the new Android 12 bringing to the table.
What’s New With Android 12 UI?
One of the major updates that you’re going to notice and feel with the Android 12 upgrade is its new and improved user interface. But exactly has Google added and improved up until now? Let’s find out.
With the evolution of Material Design into something that Google has been calling ‘Material You,’ the upcoming Android 12’s UI is going to give a more visually transformative vibe.
The new visual Material You lays major emphasis on customization which kind of signifies the latter part of its name.
The Android 12 OS features a custom color palette that lets you change the colors of the interface making it by far the best update from Google that allows users to easily personalize their phones as per their own liking and taste.
2. New Theme Engine
The new update to the Android OS also adds a color extraction tool as part of Google’s robust customization offering.
So, what does the color extraction feature do?
As its name suggests, the color extraction tool automatically picks up (extracts) colors from your phone’s set wallpaper and applies it throughout the User Interface of the phone.
You’ll notice right away that the wallpaper’s colors are integrated into the system’s theme including the lock screen, widgets, and even the notification shade and volume controls.
In addition to that, there’s also an option to manually pick a theme color and activate apps’ icons to match those colors.
Although Google only offers four colors as of now, the feature is most definitely regarded as a step in the right direction as it gives you the freedom to play around and find out your own style of personalization for your phone.
Quite frankly, the new theming engine is something we all needed to add a touch of uniqueness to our devices.
3. New Animations
Google has tried to make animations more interactive by making them fun and playful with the Android 12 update. These animations have been scattered throughout the UI to make daily interactions feel much more fluid and energy-efficient. The revamped animations not only use 22% fewer system resources but have also resulted in faster interactions.
According to Google, the Auto-rotate feature has been overhauled with an increased speed of up to 25% making the switch between portrait and landscape modes quicker.
So, how did Google achieve this?
This is the direct result of utilizing the selfie camera sensor that detects and recognizes the angle of your face and, in turn, orients the screen more quickly.
4. Other UI Features
There are also considerable changes being made to Widgets in Android 12 such as the conversations widget.
This could be due to the fact that Apple rolled out its iOS 14 with a major focus on Widgets last year. And so that could point towards Google taking a few keynotes in order to bring Android’s widgets with a refreshing new look.
Apart from that, there are some aesthetic changes around Dark Mode, shifting it from a true dark shade to a distinct lighter grey tone.
With Android 12, there’s even an addition of the one-handed mode that lets you access the apps with the use of just one hand. You can easily condense the app in the bottom half by swiping down from the center of the screen. In order to turn it back to normal, you can just swipe up or simply exit the app.
What’s New With Android 12 Privacy?
The introduction of new privacy features from Google has been a tradition with Android’s updates and unarguably, the Android 12 is no different. So, what are these new privacy changes? Let’s dive in.
1.New Privacy Dashboard
In an attempt to provide users with more transparency over the accessibility of their personal data, Google has instituted a new Privacy Dashboard with its Android 12 update.
This new dashboard features an indicator that lets users know whenever an app is using the device’s location, camera, or microphone. This helps to keep users’ privacy at the top as the feature ensures that no such unauthorized service is running in the background.
The other major feature of the dashboard is that now users can directly disable the access to camera and microphone from the notification panel itself.
What’s big with this change is that even if the app has been granted access to the camera or any other resource, the new system-wide setting enables users to override that access and revoke any permission simply through a toggle.
2. New Cookies Settings
What’s New With Android 12 Notifications?
With the new beta releases, there have been quite major and noticeable changes to Notifications. Google’s focus towards Notifications was seen with the Android 11 update and the attention has clearly been continued in Android 12 as well.
So, what are the new features in Notifications?
- The first thing you’ll notice is the redesign of the panel which now includes large text labels.
- Instead of Android 11’s Smart Home controls in the Power menu, Android 12 comes up with a new Device Controls toggle to make things easily accessible.
- In addition to the Device Control toggle, there’s even a Google Pay toggle with which you can easily access your saved cards.
- As a safety measure with the Android 12 update, you can now configure settings to always require user authentication for your lock screen notifications.
- Apart from all this, Google has been making behind-the-scenes modifications for an improved performance of notifications. So, what are these modifications about? Well, with the new Android OS, you’ll be able to access Android 12 specific apps faster when tapping on the respective app’s notification.
What’s New With Android 12 Gaming?
The Android gaming experience is getting a boost with the new OS update. Here’s what the update will offer for all of you Android gamers out there.
1. Adaptive Gaming Interface
With the option to choose from different gaming modes including ‘battery-saving and ‘performance’, Android 12 will automatically adapt to the API (Application Programming Interface) for that particular Game Mode.
What it means is that the game’s settings will adjust accordingly to the chosen mode. In addition to the improved APIs, there’s even the addition of a Play Integrity API that will block any cheating tools maintaining the integrity and fair play of the game.
2. Play as You Download
The ‘Play as You Download’ is one of the best and impressive Android 12 gaming updates for users who have a slow Wi-Fi network. As suggested by its name, this new feature will let you start playing a large-sized game while only a part of it is downloaded.
3. New Game Dashboard
The final update of Android 12 is going to bring a new Game dashboard. With the introduction of the gaming dashboard, users will now get quick access to tools such as YouTube live streaming, DND mode, screen recording, and screenshots.
4. Haptic-Coupled Audio Effect
Android 12 will feature the new and exciting haptic-coupled audio effect.
But does it mean, exactly?
Well, with the new haptic audio feature, apps will be able to use the vibration motor inside your device in order to play different customized vibrations. Let’s say you’re playing a racing game. The new haptic effect feature will likely offer different vibrations accordingly whether you’re driving the car on dirt or asphalt.
How to Get Android 12 On Your Phone?
If you want to try out the Beta version for yourself, you need to first make sure that your handset falls under the supported devices list.
If you own any of the Pixel smartphones following the Pixel 3 lineup series or any of the other eligible 15 partnered devices from different manufacturers, you can install the Android 12 Beta version.
While other than Google devices follow their own way of installing the Beta(https://developer.android.com/about/versions/12/devices), here’s the easiest way to get Android 12 on your supported Pixel device:
1. Visit the Android Beta Programme (https://www.google.com/android/beta) on your Pixel
2. Sign-in with the associated Google account
3. Navigate to Your eligible devices
4. Find your device in the list and click on Opt-in
5. Follow through with the prompts till you get the over-the-air download
If you wish to leave the Beta programme, you can do so by easily opting out of the programme. Just visit the same Android Beta portal that you used to enroll for the Beta version in the first place.
Then, scroll down to your device and tap on the Opt-out button.
But make sure you read the FAQ on the portal’s page before attempting the same as opting out of a running Beta version will lead to a complete wipeout of all the user data on the device.
This brings us to the end of our article on all the latest updates and features of Google’s new Android 12 upgrade. We hope the article gave a good insight into everything related to the upcoming Android OS. If you liked the article, share it with your friends.
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