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  1. Google's document for device manufacturers lists a launch day and support timelines. Android 10 was released on September 3, 2019, and Android 11 came out on September 8, 2020. So where is this year's Android 12 release? Instead of the final Android 12 release this month, Google pushed out Android 12 Beta 5 and said the final release was "weeks" away. A new report from XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman claims to narrow things down a bit, saying that Monday, October 4, is the magic date. XDA says it has an internal Google document detailing the "tentative" release date for Android 12. The document actually only lists when the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) source code will be released, but the developer source code release and the consumer Pixel release are usually on the same day. The document looks like it's meant for third-party device manufacturers interested in licensing Google's Android apps and lists a ton of dates for the OS's support timeline. Of course, the core of Android is open source, and anyone can do whatever they want with the source code, but if you want Google's approval and the chance to license apps like the Play Store and Gmail, you'll need to follow the rules. In order to push OEMs to ship newer versions of Android on new devices, Google just stops approving GMS licenses (Google Mobile Services—aka, all the Google apps) for new devices at around the two-year mark. The document also lists when Google will stop supporting the Android 12 codebase and "ACK," or the "Android Common Kernel" (the Linux kernel with Android patches), with security patches, which is 3.5 years after release. (Keep in mind that well-supported devices will just move to a newer Android version after the first year.) The later release is understandable, since Google has a lot to take care of this year. Android 12 is one of the biggest Android releases ever, coming with a whole new "Material You" UI for Pixel phones and including a wild automatic color-theming system. Devices will finally start shipping Android's "GKI," or "Generic Kernel Image," which will help unify the Android Linux kernel across different devices and might even allow some devices to ship kernel updates through the Play Store. There's an incremental file system for Play-as-you-download games, a new privacy dashboard, performance optimizations, and a million other changes. Some of these new features won't be fully exposed to users until the launch of the Pixel 6 (whenever that is), but the first big chunk, Android 12, is just a few weeks away. Android 12 is reportedly due out on October 4
  2. As Android 12 introduces approximate location options on your Android phone, a pretty significant change is coming for both users and developers. In the past, you were only able to allow a system-wide setting when granting access, and if you wanted to change an individual app’s location permission, it meant diving deep into your phone settings. Apps that ask you to give permission to your location access get your precise location, which is usually accurate within a couple of meters. However, the approximate location changes this to a couple of hundred meters. This ability to choose whether to set your app’s permission to precise or approximate location is another significant step towards improved privacy. Certain apps do not need to know your exact location, for example, shopping and even weather apps. These apps can still work effectively from an approximated location. However, there will still be certain apps such as Google Maps and Geocaching apps that will require a precise location to work effectively. If you are running Android 12 and download a new app, you can easily set location permission. When running the app for the first time, you will be asked to grant location access. Now you will be able to choose ‘Approximate’ from this menu. If the app requires an exact location, you will receive a prompt notifying you and asking to change to ‘Precise’ location. To change this setting for apps that are already installed and have previously been granted location access, you can still change this to approximate locations. To do this, you will need to navigate to your Android phone’s settings, and then tap on ‘Location’ and choose which app you want to change the location permission on. Once in this menu, toggle the ‘Use Precise Location’ button off, and the app will start using approximate location instead. Closing words Privacy is becoming an increasing concern to smartphone users. This new feature on Android 12 lets you use the location features of apps without revealing where you are to advertisers and other third-party companies. As an Android user, I appreciate this new approximate location feature and the added privacy that it provides. Android 12 new privacy feature lets you grant approximate location access to apps
  3. Last-minute Android 12 leak shows off new design changes before Google I/O Google I/O is on the horizon, and with the schedule published already, there’s a lot that we expect to see at the event. It kicks off on May 18th through to May 20th in the form of a virtual event that anyone can attend, and the big one that many of us will be looking forward to is the launch of Android 12. We’ve gotten through a number of developer previews already, but a last-minute Android 12 leak from Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech has shown off some new Google widgets and animations ahead of the company’s upcoming event. Prosser also shared images earlier in the week of what he claims to be the Google Pixel 6 and the Google Pixel 6 Pro – devices not expected to launch until much later in the year. Android 12 – What’s new? You might find yourself asking what’s new in Android 12, and as Prosser reports, Google has seemingly summed up the answer to this question in three succinct bullet points. While it doesn’t seem there’s much information about how devices will work better together, or how there are stronger privacy and security protections, we’ve learned a lot about that “beautiful new experience”. Android 12 has a lot of changes that we’ve documented already across each of the developer previews, but those are usually just a teaser of what’s to come. There’s a whole host of new widgets and buttons, and there are a few new animations as well. Google has been making small changes to Android’s design year on year by redesigning existing UI elements and adding new animations, and they’re doing it yet again this year. For starters, there’s a brand new music widget in the notifications bar, alongside newly redesigned Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles. There’s also a new volume slider, redesigned notifications, a new clock widget, and even a new weather widget. There’s a lot of small changes, but all of these add up to create a more cohesive and welcoming Android UI. You can also check out Prosser’s video, timestamped below, to see some of the new animations. According to Prosser, the new Android 12 release will focus heavily on the introduction of a new user interface. The keyboard, app icons, and other UI elements all match to create a consistent design across the system. As per the promo video shown, you will also be able to group notifications, even across different apps. The lock screen also appears to have a bigger clock, which we learned Google was looking at allowing the customisation of a few months ago. If you remember “Silky Home“, it was a flag that could be enabled to make the settings UI a lot more friendly for one-handed usage. It appears that this design will permeate the entirety of the new Android 12 UI, judging from the promo video shared. While it’s hard to figure out how exactly the Android 12 UI will look in the future, it’s clear that Google is gunning for some big, big changes. While we don’t know everything about what Google has in store for Android 12 yet, we’ll be covering everything Google I/O as it happens. What do you think of Android 12 so far? Source: Last-minute Android 12 leak shows off new design changes before Google I/O
  4. Android 12’s beautiful color-changing UI already lives up to the hype Android 12's "Material You" UI debuts in Beta 2, and we go hands-on. With Android 12 Beta 2, Google's color-changing UI is live, so we took a trip around the rainbow. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Android 12 Beta 2 came out this week, and with it, a lot of features we've only been able to see screenshots of now actually work. This includes Android's ambitious color-changing UI codenamed "Monet," and even though this is only a beta, after some hands-on time, it feels like Android 12's chameleon-like UI already lives up to the hype. Monet—or "Material You," as Google now wants us to call it—effortlessly recolors your phone UI with a matching theme based on your wallpaper. Pick a wallpaper that is primarily blue and Android 12 will change the buttons, sliders, clock, notifications, and settings background to matching shades. This arrangement sounds like something that can't possibly work outside of an onstage tech demo, but the code is out now, and it really works. I've spent the last day maliciously trying to break it, and Android 12 reliably turns in beautiful color schemes without any contrast issues. Google has been working on wallpaper-defined color schemes for some time, starting in Android 5.0 Lollipop and the "Palette" API back in 2014. Monet represents a second-generation swing at the idea, and while Android 5's Palette API was barely used, Google now feels confident enough with the idea to use it basically everywhere. Basically, every piece of the Android 12 system UI other than the permanently black Quick Settings background is subject to the systemwide color coordinator. For the system UI, a rough explanation of the way this works is that Android 12 samples a single hue from your wallpaper and then generates a few colors by tweaking the brightness and saturation. Pick a green-ish wallpaper and you'll get a bright green, a dark green, a desaturated green, and a nearly white green that will be spread around most of the UI, completely automatically. The Media player notification kind of lives on its own with regard to these color selections, and it picks a wild complimentary color that is somehow based on your wallpaper. Android 12 mostly picks a single hue from your wallpaper and changes the brightness and saturation. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. If the slides at Google I/O are to be believed, Monet should be even better by the time release rolls around. One slide showed a wallpaper picker that displays multiple flavors of color selections created from your wallpaper. So by the time launch rolls around, Google sounds like it wants to let you nudge the color selection in a certain direction. As a buggy beta, sometimes Monet will pick one color scheme from a wallpaper when you first apply it. Then it will switch to a different color scheme when you reboot, indicating that there is room for variety here, just no controls yet. Right now, the worst thing you can say about Monet is that it might not pick the accent color hue you want or expect. If you had something like a mostly black-and-white image with a dramatic red highlight somewhere, you might want a red accent color to tie everything together. But Monet might not pick the color you want. Those controls, assuming they actually ship, sound like exactly what the system needs right now. In Beta 2, Monet only works on the lock screen, system UI, home screen, and settings. But at I/O, Google demoed a color-changing calculator, a phone app, and a messaging app, which will hopefully get built. (How can Google resist the messaging app!) The new widgets, which still aren't out, will also adopt your color scheme of choice on the home screen. Since we can't do a color-changing home screen yet, the new lock screen—which displays a huge clock when you don't have any notifications—is the best demo of Monet in action. If app developers want to let Monet take the wheel with their designs, Android 12 gives them several color variables to slot into their code, which will be swapped around whenever the wallpaper changes. Developers get three "Accent" colors and two "Neutral" colors chosen by the system based on the wallpaper. On top of that, they get to pick a lightness value for each color. This is what the lock screen looks like when you have notifications, by the way. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Sometimes, Monet knocks your socks off with a dramatic and beautiful color selection. That makes it downright addicting to dig through a wallpaper collection to see what Android will do for each image. "Wallpaper of the day" apps now mean you'll get a whole new OS color scheme every day! Even in beta, Android 12's new UI feels exciting and fresh, and it would not surprise me to see this color-changing UI idea copied by other OS vendors in a few years. Listing image by Android Android 12’s beautiful color-changing UI already lives up to the hype (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  5. Google may let users manage Android’s hidden Recycle Bin in Android 12 Google I/O 2021 kicks off on May 18th next month, and at the event, we’re expecting to see Google announce all the features coming to Android 12. Before the event starts, we’ve been collecting as much information as we can on the latest OS release from the two publicly available Developer Previews. The other day, we also got our hands on an unreleased build of Android 12 and showcased many of the smaller functional and design changes we could find. After digging through the framework and system apps, we’ve spotted code that suggests Google may surface Android’s hidden Recycle Bin/Trash feature in Storage settings. An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build. Last year, Google rolled out Android 11 which enforced major changes to the way that apps can access a device’s storage. These changes, which Google calls “Scoped Storage”, significantly limit the amount of storage access an app can get by default. While certain apps like files managers can request broad access to a device’s storage, other apps have to use alternative APIs to add, open, edit, or delete files on the storage. One of these APIs is called the MediaStore API, and it provides access to common media files like audio, videos, and images. MediaStore has actually been around for a while now, but Google added a new feature to the API with the Android 11 release: trashing. Apps using the MediaStore API can trash rather than delete a file to give users a chance to restore the file later. Most desktop operating systems have a similar feature, but Android 11 itself doesn’t provide a system-wide “Recycle Bin” or “Trash” folder that lists all of the files that have been trashed. Instead, apps with edit access to trashed files or that request user consent can show items from the hidden recycle bin, and we’ve spotted evidence that Google’s own Files by Google app is preparing to add such a feature. The hidden Trash folder in the Files by Google app. With Android 12, however, it looks like Google is working to add a new entry to Settings > Storage to show how much storage space all trashed items take up. Tapping this entry will launch a fragment that shows the number of files that have been trashed and also lets the user empty the trash, but the entry point is normally inaccessible since Google hardcoded it to false. However, thanks to a bit of effort and help from XDA’s Zachary Wander, we managed to get the entry point and dialog to appear. Although users can empty the trash from here, we don’t know if users will also be able to restore them through this entry point. The upcoming Trash feature in Files by Google will let users view, restore, or permanently delete trashed items, though. We wouldn’t be surprised if Google plans to roll out the new feature in Files by Google at the same time as Android 12’s release, though technically Files by Google’s Trash feature doesn’t actually require Android 12 to be installed. Trashed items on Android are currently hidden from most file managers as they’re prefaced with a ‘.’ in their filename, which is how Android understands a file should be considered hidden. These hidden trashed files are stored in the same directory where they were originally located rather than being moved to a system-wide Recycle Bin/Trash folder. Based on what we know, it doesn’t look like Google plans to add an actual Recycle Bin/Trash folder in Android 12, but it does look like Google plans to at least make the Trash a more prominent feature. The one issue is that apps have to use the MediaStore API to mark files as “trashed”, so some apps will continue to permanently delete files or utilize their own recycle bin, preventing users from viewing and restoring them in one easily accessible location. Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications. Source: Google may let users manage Android’s hidden Recycle Bin in Android 12
  6. Android 12 Developer Preview 2 is Here! We are a month removed from Google releasing the first Android 12 Developer Preview build, then another minor update to Preview 1.1. Today, we are getting Android 12 Developer Preview 2! What’s New in Android 12 DP2: The Fun Stuff! Since this is a “developer preview” and not a beta, this is again targeted at developers who need to get their apps ready for new experiences or changes to the platform before we get to a stable release this summer. There still isn’t an Android Beta available, so to get on DP2, you’ll need to own a supported Pixel phone and then be prepared to flash a factory image or OTA file. Release date: March 17, 2021 Build: SPP2.210219.008 Emulator support: x86 (64-bit), ARM (v8-A) Security patch level: March 2021 Google Play services: 21.06.13 What’s new in Android 12 DP2? We’re just now diving into the new preview build and will report back shortly if there are user-facing changes you need to know about. From a developer perspective, Google has shared the following as being new for DP2: Extended security for lockscreen notifications: Enabling developers to configure notifications on the lockscreen to always require user authentication. Improvements to Picture in Picture mode: Developers can now use Android 12 to automatically transition their app to picture in picture mode. Android 12 also brings capabilities for developers to seamlessly resize picture in picture elements. APIs for managing connected devices: To make it easier for developers to keep their apps running on companion devices (like smartwatches or fitness trackers), this developer preview introduces APIs that automatically wake relevant apps up when connected devices are nearby. Support for Rounded corners: To deliver a great UX on devices, developers need to account for the rounded corners and adjust any nearby UI elements to prevent them from being truncated. To help with this, we’re introducing new APIs to let you query for rounded corners and get their details. This Preview 2 build is available on the Google Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a and 3a XL, and Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The Android Beta program is not yet available for Android 12, so to get into it, you’ll need to flash some files. For instructions on how to install Android Developer Preview 2, head over to this post. Google is still planning at least one more Developer Preview before we get to beta releases. Marking mid-April on your calendar for Preview 3 would make a lot of sense, assuming Google continues on this current schedule. // Android Developers Blog Source: Android 12 Developer Preview 2 is Here!
  7. Android 12 is bringing some important security features Protecting your privacy will be one of the main reasons to upgrade (Image credit: Google) Google is doubling down on security and privacy enhancements in Android 12 and when the next version of its mobile operating system launches this fall, users will be able to manually block access to some of the hardware sensors on their devices. As reported by 9To5Google, the latest version of Android includes a pair of new toggles that will allow users to prevent apps from accessing their smartphone's microphone and camera. The inclusion of these new toggles comes at a time when users have grown more concerned about their privacy and the fact that hackers could use the cameras, microphones and other sensors found on their devices to spy on them. This is why aftermarket webcam covers have become so popular for laptops and Lenovo has started adding its ThinkShutter automatic webcam cover to more of its devices. Privacy toggles With the launch of Android 12, users will be able to quickly turn off access to their microphone and camera right from the operating system's Quick Settings menu which can be accessed by swiping down from the notifications menu. Once enabled, these toggles will appear in the quick settings menu as icons that read “Block Camera” and “Mute Microphone”. When tapped, these toggles will entirely shut off access to either your device's camera or microphone. During its tests, 9To5Google found that Android 12's privacy toggles are not currently working with either system apps or third-party apps. For instance, with the “Block Camera” toggle active, the news outlet was still able to use their device's native camera app and this was also the case when it tired to use the viewfinders in Instagram and Twitter. However, at least with those two third-party apps, a system prompt did appear saying they had to turn on the camera though it was still active in the background on the developer preview of Android 12 in testing. We'll likely hear more about the security and privacy enhancements that will be included in Android 12 once Google begins preparing for its official rollout which will likely happen in September of this year. Via 9to5Google Android 12 is bringing some important security features
  8. Google releases the first Developer Preview of Android 12 Google today announced the release of the first Developer Preview of Android 12, the next major update coming to Android devices. In this first preview release, Google has included a number of features around security and manageability. For example, Google has simplified password restrictions for managed devices with pre-set complexity levels of high, medium or low that will be used to access the devices. Google is also streamlining credential management for unmanaged devices. You can find the full details below. Simplifying password complexity For users on work profile devices, we’re introducing a more straightforward, modern approach to password restrictions. Instead of granular requirements that often result in easily forgotten passwords, we’re establishing pre-set complexity levels of high, medium or low that will be used to access the device. Easily set up a work security challenge We’ve improved the device setup process to prompt employees if their provided password doesn’t meet complexity requirements set by their admin. Users who receive a prompt can simply choose to increase the strength of their device password or set up a work security challenge to access apps in the work profile. If approved by IT, employees can also switch back to one password for both work and personal if they change their mind. Certificate management on unmanaged devices In Android 12, we’re streamlining credential management for unmanaged devices by making the process available to apps beside the device policy client. With this expanded credential management, more companies can extend secure access to employees regardless of their location, a key requirement in the COVID-19 era. Additionally, employees can avoid the cumbersome, manual process of installing certificates themselves. Enrollment-specific IDs for personal devices For employee-owned managed devices, we’re creating a new enterprise-specific device identifier that may help enhance privacy in the event an employee leaves their current employer. Instead of relying on hardware identifiers such as IMEI or serial numbers, personal devices will get a new identifier derived programmatically during enrollment. If you have a Pixel device today, you can download the Android 12 Developer Preview 1. Source: Google Google releases the first Developer Preview of Android 12
  9. More Android 12 leaks: Improved Auto-rotate, Game mode and more XDA-Developers have been leaking some upcoming Android 12 features, and in their latest post, they revealed 3 minor features Google is working on which may show up in upcoming Android 12 betas. Smart Auto-rotate. The first is adding AI to the auto-rotate feature, so the screen will not flip at the wrong time. Reportedly the phone may use your front-facing camera to check the position of your head first to ensure you mean to rotate the handset before flipping. Game Mode Google is reportedly working on a new “GameManager service” which will manage game-related features including “manage the game mode and persist the data” across reboot(s). The details are not clear, but this may be a standard implementation of the Game Mode many OEMs already added to their Android handsets, which optimises the devices for performance. Google is reportedly also working on a Bluetooth API for detecting battery levels in controllers, to allow users to charge their controllers before they die. Reduce Brightness Google is adding a new accessibility feature, previously called “Reduce Bright Colors” but now only “Reduce Brightness.” Available as a Quick Settings tile, the feature will help those with visual impairments. The feature should show up in the upcoming Android 12 developer betas, which are expected soon. More Android 12 leaks: Improved Auto-rotate, Game mode and more
  10. Google is working on a “One-Handed Mode” for Android 12 Over the years, smartphone makers have made taller and taller devices. While that has made media consumption more enjoyable on mobile, it has resulted in making many phones impossible to use one-handed. To compensate, several phone makers have developed software solutions to improve one-handed usability: most notably Apple with its Reachability feature. Now, Google is set to bring its own version of one-handed mode in Android 12. XDA has now learned that Google has been developing a one-handed mode feature for inclusion into AOSP, the open-source version of Android. That means the feature will be accessible to any smartphone maker using AOSP. More importantly, it means that OEMs that have not developed their own one-handed mode feature will be able to utilize Google’s version of the software. However, we do not know if Google plans to mandate the inclusion of its version of one-handed mode on all Android 12 devices. While we aren’t exactly sure how Android 12’s one-handed mode will be designed, we think it’ll be like the many OEM implementations that shrink the entire screen down to a corner (eg. like the ASUS implementation shown in the featured image). We do know that Google’s current implementation in Android 12 involves shrinking the screen size down to 40% of its max size. We also know that there will be a way to trigger one-handed mode using the traditional 3-button mode as well as the newer gestural navigation mode. Currently, it’s planned for one-handed mode to be added to Settings > System > Gesture > One-Handed, which makes sense since it’s triggered using a gesture (likely swiping left/right on the navigation bar). The addition of a one-handed mode in Android 12 comes long after many OEMs have already made their own versions of the feature. At one point, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei even attempted to submit its version of the feature to AOSP, but Google rejected its addition. We don’t know exactly why Google rejected that version, but it’s not unusual for Google to take its time to implement key features already present in its partners’ Android devices. For example, Google is also finally introducing a scrolling screenshot feature in Android 12, years after it was implemented by OEMs. In an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit last year, Google said that it did not want to implement scrolling screenshots in a half-baked way; the company pointed to how several OEM implementations fail to work on certain pages or fail to stitch images when scrolling through certain views. Similarly, Google may be putting a similar level of diligence into its work on one-handed mode. Besides shrinking and repositioning all system UI elements, Google also has to consider how one-handed mode affects third-party applications since its implementation will affect the entire Android ecosystem rather than just a subset of devices. Since we do not have images of Android 12’s one-handed mode, we sadly can’t demonstrate exactly what it will look like. However, we expect the first Android 12 Developer Preview to land sometime later this month, so we may not have to wait long to see the feature in action. However, we don’t know for sure if Google will include the feature in the Developer Preview or even at all in a future Beta or Stable release. If Google decides the feature is still not ready for release, then we may not see the feature until next year’s Android version if at all. Featured image: ASUS’ one-handed mode on a ZenFone 7 Pro running Android 11 Source: Google is working on a “One-Handed Mode” for Android 12
  11. This may be our first look at Android 12, Google’s next Android OS Google is set to release its next major version of Android — Android 12 — later this year, following a series of Developer Previews and Betas that will likely start rolling out later this month. Ahead of the stable release, Google shares documentation and source code with its major partners in order to give them time to prepare for the release. Today, an alleged early draft of a document that Google made to summarize changes in Android 12 leaked online, and screenshots showcasing the new UI and functional changes were extracted from the document. While we can’t fully confirm the authenticity of these screenshots, we have seen evidence that the document in question is, in fact, real, and furthermore that these screenshots indeed came from said document. With that in mind, here’s what we’re seeing right now. One of the alleged Android 12 screenshots showcases a new notifications panel UI. The transparency is gone and replaced with an opaque light beige background, though the color likely depends on the current theme and/or whether or not Dark Mode is enabled. The separation between the “conversations” section with the rest of the notifications is still there, and the rounded corners of each notification are now more pronounced. The number of Quick Settings tiles that are shown when the notification panel is partially expanded has been reduced from 6 to 4, causing each icon to become larger. The positions of the date and clock have been swapped, while there are also new privacy indicators in the top right-hand corner. Speaking of which, it seems that Google may add new privacy features in Android 12. In the new Android version, you may receive a warning in the form of status bar indicators whenever an app is using the camera or microphone. Tapping on these status bar icons may show a pop-up at the top of the screen that tells you exactly which app(s) are using the camera or microphone. Google has been testing these privacy chips for over 2 years now, so it would be nice to see them finally make an appearance in Android 12. Related to this change is an alleged revamp to the “Privacy” settings in Android 12. The new Privacy settings may contain toggles to disable the camera and mute the microphone entirely, in addition to toggling location access. You can already disable all sensors on your device by using the “sensors off” Quick Setting tile, but this tile can only be shown once you enable Developer Options. Android 12 may make these sensor toggles more user-accessible by placing them in the Privacy settings. Lastly, we have what appears to be a new addition to Android’s widget selection. When Apple recently added widgets to iOS, we argued that they’re better than Android’s implementation in some ways. While we don’t know if Google is planning a major overhaul of widgets, it does look like they at least plan to make a few changes. In a few screenshots, we can see an alleged new “Conversations” widget in Android 12 that may highlight recent messages, missed calls, or activity statuses. The widget that’s shown is small and only seems to be big enough to accommodate showing one message/call/status at a time in its smallest size. According to a screenshot of the document we viewed, Google is planning to mandate the inclusion of camera and microphone indicators in Android 12. These indicators must be shown prominently at the top of the screen, always be visible whenever the camera or microphone is being accessed, and must have the same color across the ecosystem. We don’t know what other changes will be mandated until we get our hands on the full Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for Android 12. Again, since we haven’t received the full document in question, we can’t 100% verify the authenticity of these images. However, the screenshot we received of the document comes from a trusted source who has, in recent times, shared other confidential documents with us. If we receive more evidence corroborating these alleged screenshots of Android 12, we’ll follow-up in a separate post. We also asked Google to comment on this leak and will update this article if we hear back. If you’re interested in learning more about what’s in store in the next major Android release, check out our Android 12 tag. We expect there’ll be a better theming system, decoupled emojis, an app hibernation feature, and many more features that have yet to be uncovered. When Google unveils its first Developer Preview in the next few weeks, don’t expect to see all of these changes show up. That’s because the builds that Google releases prior to its I/O developer conference tend to miss out on a lot of the more interesting user-facing features. Thanks to XDA Senior Member RKBD for bringing these images to our attention, and thanks to our tipster (who wishes to remain anonymous) for their help in corroborating these images! Source: This may be our first look at Android 12, Google’s next Android OS
  12. Android 12 may bring theming system beyond dark and light Now that Google has brought us a dark theme option for our Android devices (and most Google apps), you finally have the option to switch between light and dark. But if you want to have more color themes, you don’t have much choice in that department. Soon though, you may have the option to make your smartphone, particularly apps, a bit more colorful. Android 12 will reportedly bring a deeper theming system, including choosing the colors of particular supported apps. 9 to 5 Google says they have seen information pointing to Google working on a native theming system for Android 12. This will allow users to choose a primary color and an accent color that will be seen on the software on your smartphone, or at least those parts and apps that will be supported. This means you can see more colorful background color for notifications and parts like the Quick Settings area. Well, that is if you prefer it to be colorful. That doesn’t mean of course that your phone will look like a rainbow. 9 to 5 Google created some mockups on what they think it will look like when the colored theme will be enabled. They showed what your phone’s settings would probably look like if you chose the “dim” blue from Twitter as your main theme color and then the “Space” from Pixel devices as an accent. The colors don’t “scream” and are just a nice muted color. They also tried a mockup using a green Material Design color palette and that one is just a little bit louder. The colors available will probably vary per brand and maybe per model but there will probably not be an option to create or add your own color scheme. The good news though is that the theming system can also be accessible to other developers of Android apps. This means an app can be configured to match the theme or color scheme that a user chooses for their supported smartphone. You won’t be stuck anymore with just light or dark. Android 12 is still in very early development so we have no idea yet when and how this will be adapted. Developers will get first dibs on the early update anyway when they roll out the Developer Preview version. Rumor has it that this could happen as early as February. Source: Android 12 may bring theming system beyond dark and light
  13. Google promises to make it easier to install third-party app stores in Android 12 If you've somehow missed it, Epic Games has been in a feud with Apple - and to some degree, Google - over the policies on their mobile operating systems and the respective app stores. One of the causes for concern is that the two companies make it very hard or nearly impossible for developers to distribute their apps in different ways, thus forcing many of them to give Google and Apple 30% of the revenue they make through digital sales. While Apple has shown no signs of budging, Google today announced some significant changes for Android developers. In a blog post titled "Listening to Developer Feedback to Improve Google Play", the company has said that starting with the next year's version of Android, or Android 12, it will make it easier for users to install app stores other than Google Play, thus giving developers more options as to how they distribute their Android apps. Google didn't delve into specifics on this, but this should be good news either way. Google also announced that it has updated its payment policy for the Google Play Store to make it clearer that any developer that sells paid apps or in-app items for apps on the Play Store needs to use Google's billing system and pay the respective revenue cut. This isn't a change per se, but a clarification of the policy that was already in place, and Google says only 3% of developers are selling digital goods that require the usage of Google's billing system. Google also said that it's not imposing restrictions on how developers communicate their pricing with customers, as long as it isn't done in the app itself. That is to say, if developers offer different pricing options on their own website or in another app store, they can let users know about it via e-mail or any other channel. However, it appears that this kind of communication isn't allowed in the app itself, based on Google's wording. The ability to more easily install third-party app stores should be good news for developers such as Epic Games, who have been adamant about not sharing their revenue with Google. It remains to be seen if Apple will also concede in any appreciable way. Google promises to make it easier to install third-party app stores in Android 12
  14. Android 12 could debut revamped split-screen feature with 'App Pairs' Google is possibly working on improving the split-view multitasking experience on Android. The company has not updated the feature in a long time now and it is a bit cumbersome and awkward to run apps in split-screen mode on Android devices right now. Image Source: 9to5Google As per a new report, Google is planning a major revamp of the split-screen multitasking experience for Android 12. It will debut a new feature called "App Pairs" which will allow users to group two apps in split-screen mode as a "task." What this means is that when one opens the Recent Apps view, they will be shown this "app pair" as a single "task". This will make it easier to switch between another app and then back to the "app pair." The divider between two apps in split-screen mode is also gaining additional functionality. It will allow users to swap the position of the two apps via a simple double-tap. On paper, the new multitasking approach already sounds more convenient and useful than the existing split-view multitasking method of Android 11. It should also make the split-view multitasking experience far better on foldables and tablets. Google could possibly announce other multitasking related improvements in Android 12 as the feature has not been updated in quite a few years now. Given that the first developer preview of Android 11 was released in February, it is possible that Android 12 will also be announced around the same time this year. Source: 9to5Google Android 12 could debut revamped split-screen feature with 'App Pairs'
  15. Android 12 could bring back a hidden shortcut that got pulled from Android 11 Double-tap to launch (Image credit: Future) All being well we should see Android 12 arrive later this year, and the latest rumor around the software release is that Google is bringing back a hidden shortcut that we first saw in the developer preview of Android 11 – at least on Pixel phones. The shortcut we're talking about is the double-tap on the back, which – according to information seen by 9to5Google – could launch the Google Assistant, take a screenshot, start and stop media, show your phone's notifications or open up the recent apps view, depending on how you want to use it. We were a little disappointed the the double-tap gesture got pulled from Android 11 after showing up in early versions of the code – although it was never fully enabled. By the time Android 11 launched in September, the feature had disappeared completely. It would seem Google has changed its mind again, though there's still no guarantee that the shortcut will make it all the way to the final release of the operating system, or be available for phones that aren't in the Pixel line. As per 9to5Google, the feature is codenamed Columbus. Tap happy The new report says the double-tap gesture was originally slated to take over from the old Active Edge squeeze gesture on the Pixel 4 phones – noticeably missing from the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 – but was found to be too sensitive to work properly. Now it would seem that those issues have been overcome, with the gesture only able to be activated with a firm double-tap on the back of a handset. As you would expect from the usually ultra-customizable Android, if you don't like the shortcut then you'll be able to turn it off and ignore it. If Google follows the same schedule as last year, then we might see a limited developer preview of Android 12 as early as February. We've already heard that the software update could include Wi-Fi sharing as one of its new features. A very similar gesture was added to the iPhone with the release of iOS 14, which Apple calls Back Tap – the shortcut can be customized to take a screenshot, open Control Center, and more. For Android, there is a third-party software option called Tap, Tap that you can use until Android 12 gets here. Android 12 could bring back a hidden shortcut that got pulled from Android 11
  16. Google to introduce double-tap function on Pixel devices with Android 12: Report Google was expected to release the feature for the phones that don’t come with the 'Active Edge' feature (squeeze function) which has been absent in the previous three Pixel phones Google might soon introduce a new feature for Pixel phones. The feature codenamed ‘Columbus’ allows the user to double-tap on the back of the phone to activate a feature like calling for a voice assistant, open notification share or some other action. The feature was first spotted last year and was expected to be featured in Android 11. However, the company is now reported to be working to include it in the Android 12 update. According to a report by 9to5Google, Google is expected to launch the new ‘Columbus’ feature with the Android 12 update. The feature got its codename from the character in the movie Zombieland for his signature double-tap move. The report suggests that it was first spotted on the Android 11 Developer preview. Google was expected to release the feature for the phones that don’t come with the 'Active Edge' feature (squeeze function) which has been absent in the previous three Pixel phones including hGoogle Pixel 4A, Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5. The new Columbus feature will be customisable according to the user’s interest or requirement. According to the report, once the update has been released, the user will be able to double-tap the back of their Pixel phone to activate one of the following functions: Activate the Google Assistant Take a screenshot Pause/resume media playback Open the notification shade Open the recent apps view Currently, the Pixel devices support a shortcut to access the notification shade by swiping down the fingerprint sensor. The first swipe brings down the notification shade and the second swipe shows the extended list of shortcuts on the notification shade. Source: Google to introduce double-tap function on Pixel devices with Android 12: Report
  17. Android 12 may let you hibernate unused apps to free up space It may be hard to believe, but we’re likely only a little over a month away from the release of the first Android 12 Developer Preview. After all, the first Android 11 Developer Preview was released back in February of 2020! We’ve been scouring the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit for hints of new features coming to the next version of Android, and recently we’ve spotted evidence that Google is working on an app hibernation feature for Android 12. Based on a couple of code changes submitted to AOSP, Google is adding a new app hibernation system service “that manages app hibernation state, a state apps can enter that means they are not being actively used and can be optimized for storage.” Unfortunately, we don’t have any more details about this feature. For example, we don’t know how apps can enter this state. Is it automatically determined based on app usage statistics? Can users manually choose to force apps to hibernate? We also don’t know how apps will be optimized for storage, nor do we know how the OS will tell the user which apps have been hibernated. Our guess is that app hibernation will be automatic like the auto-revoking permissions feature introduced in Android 11 and that optimization involves compression of the APK and other app resources, but we won’t know for sure until more code changes are submitted. We also don’t know for sure if this feature will actually make its way to Android 12 as the commits haven’t been merged yet. There’s still time for new features like this to be added, but the window is closing soon. Once we learn more about this app hibernation service or any other features coming to Android 12, we’ll share that information. Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer luca020400 for the tip! Source: Android 12 may let you hibernate unused apps to free up space
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