Google has pulled back the veil on the upcoming Android 12 operating system, showing off its most comprehensive redesign yet and a host of new features.
The first beta of Android 12 has been released, showing off what Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android & Google Play, called “the biggest design change in Android’s history”.
“We rethought the entire experience, from the colours to the shapes, light and motion. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic and personal than ever before,” said Samat.
Phones starting with Pixel devices will be completely personalisable, says Google, including custom colour palettes and redesigned widgets – the phone will select the dominant and complementary colours from your wallpaper, and apply them across the entire UI. Motion and animations will also be made smoother, and system spaces like the notification shade and quick settings have been refreshed.
New privacy features will also come to Android 12, including an at-a-glance privacy dashboard, indicators for when an app is using camera or mic plus the ability to globally disable those sensors, and privacy protections built directly into the OS.
Digital car keys that allow locking, unlocking, and starting Android Auto-compatible cars via phone are also planned for Android 12.
“Android 12 is packed with other useful experiences, like improved accessibility features for people with impaired vision, scrolling screenshots, conversation widgets that bring your favorite people to the home screen and ways for all your devices to work better together.
“We’re also delivering on our promise to make third-party app stores easier to use on Android 12,” said Samat.
New features are also on the way to existing Android 11 users, including more compatible Fast Pair Bluetooth devices and the ability to control Android TV and Google TV directly from a phone without needing a remote control.