At Google I/O 2021, Google presents the first official looks and features of Android 12. Android 12 is the next major update for Android and is the biggest design change Google made in years.
The first look comes from the first beta which Google just released for the Pixel devices. The official version will roll out in August and may not contain some features which were present in the beta version.
With Android 12, Google is prioritizing two features, these are personalization and privacy. This is the first time that Google is presenting personalization as one of the main features of Android 12. And since Apple makes a major shift towards privacy with iOS 14.5, Google also started to introduce new features to make user data private and safe.
Android 12 First look:
Design and Visual Changes:
Google made a complete visual overhaul in Android 12 and the design changes are the most highlighted features of this OS. Since introducing the Material design in 2014, this is the first time that the search giant has completely revamped the look of its mobile OS.
This time the OS looks completely different from the previous generations. Now the OS brings new modern design elements and users can make the look of the OS more personal.
Android 12 comes with a new theming engine that picks colors from the home screen wallpapers and applies them to the multiple elements of the OS. These elements include lock screen, widgets, setting menu, and quick setting toggles.
Users also have the option to customize the color if they don’t like the colors that The OS chooses from the wallpapers.
According to Google, this theming engine is the main component of Android 12 and will be present when the official version will release in August.
The OS also retrieves the customization option present in its predecessor. Users can customize accent colors, change icons and quick setting menu icon design, etc.
Quite similar to iOS 14, Android 12 also brings a new widget style and design but unfortunately, those are not present in the first beta. Google shows the widget style and design in the presentation videos and it will be available in the official release.
Quick settings and notification shade:
Google also completely change the look of the Quick settings icons and notification shade in this version of Android. Quick settings and notification shades are the most used component of any smartphone.
This time Google uses big circular buttons for the quick setting icons to make it more prominent and colorful. The icon button contains the full name of the icon and becomes more prominent when in use. The brightness slider moves to the top of the quick setting icons and also becomes more circular and thicker.
In the previous generation of the OS, the quick setting only showed six icons in the first pull-down. Then in the second pull-down, those icons are divided into three columns. But this time with the first pull-down there will only be four icons then in the second pull-down there will the two columns with four icons each.
Lock screen and Always on Display:
There are also some design changes in the lock screen and always-on display. In Android 12 the lock screen shows the big clock which covers most of the screen when there is no new notification. When you get a notification then the clock size reduces to normal to make space for the notification icons. Rest of the information like weather and date is also present on the lock screen.
The numpad used to open a device with a pin also got a visual change in Android 12. This time it is much bigger and has a quite resemblance with the iOS style dialer. The numbers on the numpad are bigger and have circular icons. The pin pad also takes color from the wallpapers of the device.
Google always add new privacy features with every version of The OS and Android 12 is no different.
Android 12 comes with a new privacy dashboard that gives all the relevant information about each of the apps on the device. The dashboard also gives the details about how much user information an app is accessing. The privacy dashboard gives you the information of how many apps have accessed your location, camera, microphone, and gallery information in a day.
Users can also have the option to change the permissions each app required. You can cancel any permission that the app is accessing in the privacy dashboard.
Camera and Mic Permission:
Similar to iOS, the OS will notify when a certain app is using the device’s camera or microphone. There will be a green icon on the notification shade with the icons of the camera or mic when an app is using it.
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