On February 18, Google released the first preview version of Android 12 for developers who need time to adapt their products before the OS release. There will be three versions of the Developer Preview (DP), after which the beta versions will start for everyone – they will start releasing in May. The final build should be available in the fall.
The first version of the system for developers can be installed only on Google Pixel smartphones from the third generation. Those who have already managed to do so have shared their first observations.
Here are the main changes in Android 12 DP:
- the dark UI theme on the Pixel is no longer black as tar — the background of the curtain and volume bar are now slightly lighter and blend better with the blue accent in the UI;
- the one handed mode that shifts the whole picture down (this mode cannot be activated yet, but is present in the code);
- function of a long scrollable screenshot and the ability to quickly flick the resulting picture (now you need to click on the little cross to close it);
- an improved screenshot editor offering many more tools, including adding text and stickers;
- improved gesture navigation – swipes to minimize the app or return to the previous screen now work even without bringing up the navigation bar at the bottom;
- easier drag and drop of content between apps – for example, photos or videos from one window to another when working with split screen;
- The new button of delayed notifications about new events in the curtain – just click on the alarm icon and select the time;
- ability to prohibit media services access to the output of the player with controls in the quick settings curtain;
- the media player of the curtain itself has also changed – the cover is displayed differently and there is a button for the output of audio to other devices;
- in the system settings the search box received rounded corners, and the sub-levels of settings – a light blue background (the developers see in this a hint at the appearance of the themes);
- the SOS emergency button, which allows you to make an emergency call with five presses of the power key (the number of the call must be set in advance);
- the ability to stretch the video playback window in “picture-in-picture” mode, as well as to hide it without closing it completely;
- the function of sending a password for Wi-Fi via Nearby Share, which is much more convenient than scanning QR codes;
- support for the new AVIF image format, which can provide higher quality at a smaller size than older formats;
- HEVC, HDR and AVC transcoding on the fly, which will eliminate the problem of incompatibility of content obtained with other devices;
Pixel 5 now has the ability to paint the status bar black to hide the front camera hole;
- Pixel Launcher appeared ability to arrange the icons on the desktop grid 4 × 5.
The developers note that the system does not yet have many of the features previously promised by insiders, including the issuance of access rights to the camera and microphone only when launching applications. However, the list of improvements in Android 12 will vary from version to version, which means that many more useful innovations may appear in new builds.