Update: May 18, 2021 (06:00 PM ET): With the launch of the first Android 12 beta today, we’ve updated the list below with more confirmed features. Read on for all the latest!
Android 12 has hit its next major milestone. Google has now released the first beta to the public, giving us access to a fresh new build of the OS. As with the previous developer previews, this is still a very early version of the software, so we wouldn’t advise using it as your daily driver.
We can confirm, though, that Google is improving and introducing a host of facets in its latest iteration of Android. Tweaks to media handling and notification support, improvements to privacy and haptic feedback, and more polished notifications UI all make the cut. We’re barely brushing the surface here.
If you have a Google Pixel, you can install Android 12 on your device right now. It is also available for a select few devices from other OEMs. If you lack the proper hardware or just want the info, we take a deeper dive detailing these confirmed Android 12 features and more below. Read on!
Confirmed Android 12 features
These features are confirmed to land with the stable version of the software. Whenever Android 12 comes to your smartphone, you can rest assured that these features will be there (unless, of course, Google changes its mind).
Visual overhaul and color extraction
At Google I/O 2021, the company confirmed that the design of Android 12 will be its biggest visual overhaul in years. The revamp is part of the next iteration of its design language, known as Material You. The idea of Material You is that the users themselves should influence the design.
With Android 12, the OS will use a color extraction protocol to lift design elements from your installed wallpaper. This means that colors across the whole system will change depending on your home screen background. This will allow an easy and automatic way for your phone to feel unique to you.
Along with color extraction, there are numerous new design tweaks, animations, spacing changes, etc. We have a full roundup of what to expect here. Unfortunately, only some of the new design elements made it to the first beta — and color extraction isn’t one of them. Hopefully, we’ll see this in the second beta, which should land in June.
New Android 12 Quick Tiles
When you pull down the notification shade, you’re probably used to seeing round icons at the top of the panel. Well, in Android 12, those round icons are gone. In their place, we have rounded rectangles. These operate in the same way as previous Quick Tiles (a tap turns them on or off; a long-press takes you to the settings page). Now, though, they are larger and can accommodate more information.
Of course, that increase in size means that fewer tiles can be seen at once. On your first pull of the notification shade, you’ll only see four tiles, instead of the usual six. As the image above attests, the Quick Tiles will be themeable with the color extraction protocol.
Privacy and security improvements
At I/O 2021, Google announced…