Android 12 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know

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Android 12 improves the idiosyncratic acquisition from Android 11 and adds breathtaking features to the platform. Here's what developers, businesses and users request to cognize astir Google's Android 12.

The Android operating strategy has travel a precise agelong mode from its humble and awkward beginnings. Instead of the mobile level being an underdog, unprepared to service powerfulness users and those who request a mobile instrumentality designed for business, Android is present perfectly adept astatine handling everything you propulsion astatine it and beryllium the astir idiosyncratic Google OS ever.

There are areas wherever the level could usage immoderate polish--that's wherever Android 12 comes into play. The latest iteration of Google's mobile operating strategy brings caller features and tweaks to assorted elements, arsenic good arsenic improvements to privateness and adjacent haptic feedback.

Let's find retired what's caller to Android 12 and what features mightiness person you champing astatine the spot to upgrade your existent mentation of the operating system. Read this Android 12 cheat expanse to get up to velocity connected Google's latest OS. We'll update this assets periodically erstwhile determination is caller accusation astir Android 12.

SEE: Top Android information tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is Android 12?

Android 12 is the latest merchandise of Google's mobile operating system, and it is seamlessly integrated with Google's app ecosystem. That means, retired of the box, Android pairs perfectly with the likes of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Photos and conscionable astir immoderate of the apps offered wrong Google Workspaces, for concern users.

Android besides happens to beryllium the astir widely-used mobile operating strategy connected the planet, with implicit 83% of planetary smartphones shipped with Android (to date) successful 2021.  

As with the aboriginal releases of Android, Google has done distant with the pastry nomenclature, and opted for a elemental numerical naming convention--hence, Android 12.

What caller features travel with Android 12?

As acold arsenic caller features coming to Android 12, everything listed present is based connected the developer preview and announcements from Google I/O 2021

New features successful the 2nd beta release

The 2nd beta merchandise is retired for Android 12 and determination are a fewer precise important features to person been added into the mix. Those features include:

  • Privacy Dashboard: Any idiosyncratic looking to summation much accusation and power implicit privateness volition find this caller diagnostic a boon. The Privacy Dashboard allows users to presumption what information has been accessed connected a device, arsenic good arsenic however often that information has been accessed. This caller dashboard (which is accessed done Settings | Privacy | Privacy Dashboard) displays what apps and services person accessed your mic, camera, assemblage sensors, Calendar and more.
  • Mic and Camera On/Off Toggles: Finally, users tin manually disable (system-wide) some the microphone and camera. This is done from the Quick Settings tiles successful the Notification Shade. Users volition besides beryllium shown (via a tiny icon successful the presumption bar) erstwhile the camera oregon mic is being accessed. If a idiosyncratic believes either of these is being utilized erstwhile they shouldn't be, each they person to bash is propulsion down the Notification Shade and pat to disable either the Mic, the Camera oregon both.
  • Clipboard Read Notification: When an exertion accesses the strategy clipboard, users volition present beryllium notified of this action. This volition marque it imaginable for users to cognize if an app that isn't being utilized has accessed the clipboard. However, it should beryllium noted that the strategy volition not pass the idiosyncratic if the clipboard contents were copied from the aforesaid app being used.
  • Material You Updates: When the beta 1 merchandise was made available, the UX received a monolithic update, which included Material You. However, determination was 1 important diagnostic near retired of that update, which was the automated theming based connected the selected location surface wallpaper. With beta 2, that is present included. When you alteration the location surface wallpaper connected Android 12, your strategy taxable volition automatically change, based connected the colour palette recovered wrong the representation utilized for the location screen.

For those funny successful cheque retired the Android beta, cheque out How to get the Android 12 beta.

New features successful the Developer Preview 2 merchandise

With the 2nd merchandise of the Android 12 Developer Preview connected March 17, 2021, determination are a fewer caller features that person been added, specified as:

  • Developers tin present necessitate authentication for actions implemented from the fastener screen
  • Android tin present verify the integrity of an installed app and forestall a questionable app from displaying contented via overlay alerts
  • New frameworks person been released to marque it imaginable for improvement teams to constitute apps for phones with rounded corners

New Android 12 features announced during Google I/O 2021

On May 18, 2021, during the Google I/O keynote, the pursuing features were announced: 

  • The fastener surface volition beryllium much playful with dynamic lighting
  • The notification shadiness volition beryllium much intuitive
  • Quick Settings has been redesigned to see Google Pay and Home Controls
  • Google Assistant tin beryllium invoked by long-pressing the powerfulness button
  • CPU clip has been reduced by 22%, making everything successful Android faster
  • Privacy Dashboard volition beryllium an casual to usage determination to negociate app permissions
  • An indicator volition look erstwhile an app is utilizing the camera oregon the mic
  • Quick settings present see toggles to disable the mic and camera systemwide
  • Android Private Compute Core, which powers the likes of Android Caption and doesn't stock accusation with immoderate different app oregon service

AVIF representation enactment

One of astir anticipated features coming to Android 12 is AVIF representation support. This caller representation format volition greatly amended the compression of images without compromising the prime of the images. That means larger images files tin beryllium transmitted, utilizing little bandwidth. This isn't conscionable a boon for users who similar to devour images passim the day, it besides means developers tin integrate adjacent much ocular elements into their apps, without causing bottlenecks, buffering, oregon information depletion issues. This caller format uses the unfastened root video codec AV1 which was archetypal introduced successful Android 10

Compatible media transcoding

Google is adding a caller transcoding furniture to Android 12 that volition marque it imaginable for apps that don't presently enactment the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video compression modular to instrumentality vantage of this much-improved video compression. This caller modular is the successor to the widely-used Advanced Video Coding compression format and offers 25-50% amended information compression astatine the aforesaid video prime level.

Like the summation of AVIF representation support, HEVC volition marque it imaginable for developers to present much video portion utilizing little bandwidth. 

This compatibility layer, however, should lone beryllium considered a stop-gap for developers. Google is urging each developers to see HEVC enactment successful their apps.

Third-party app store enactment

Android developers are moving to marque it imaginable for users to safely instal apps from third-party app stores, with immoderate assurances that by doing so, their instrumentality information won't beryllium compromised.

How the developers program connected pulling this disconnected is unknown, arsenic of this moment. The why, however, has been made clear. Google is readying this alteration arsenic a effect of caller concerns surrounding Android app improvement and the difficulties recovered with in-app outgo systems for businesses that person been forced to determination online, owed to COVID-19. 

However, it should beryllium noted that in-app payments for apps recovered successful the Google Play Store volition not change. Google has made it precise wide that each apps with in-app payments indispensable usage Google Play's billing system. 

SEE: Hiring kit: Android Developer (TechRepublic Premium)

App Hibernation

This adjacent caller diagnostic volition person a important interaction connected Android artillery life. App Hibernation volition efficaciously hibernate each apps that aren't presently successful use. This means lone those apps successful usage volition drain your instrumentality battery. This diagnostic volition besides wide your app cache automatically.

App Pairs

Android Split Screen already allows you to usage 2 apps astatine once, but with Android 12, a caller feature, called App Pairs, volition let users to unfastened 2 apps that are commonly utilized unneurotic simultaneously. This diagnostic volition radical 2 apps unneurotic arsenic 1 azygous "task." 

With App Pairs, users volition beryllium capable to prime 2 precocious opened apps and marque them a pair. Once those apps are paired, users tin past easy power betwixt a azygous app and a pair.

New theming system 

The developers are besides bringing a caller theming strategy to Android 12. This strategy volition let users to prime a main and accent colour for apps, oregon let them to person their strategy taxable beryllium based connected their existent wallpaper. 

Haptic audio effect

With Android 12, developers volition beryllium capable to harvester haptic feedback patterns with audio. This could not lone payment games, but the quality of users to place callers, based connected haptic feedback, oregon see haptic feedback portion listening to music.

SEE: Power checklist: Managing and troubleshooting Android devices (TechRepublic Premium)

Double-tap actions

Android 12 volition bring double-tap actions to supported devices (at the moment, that is constricted to Google Pixel phones). With this feature, you tin configure actions for erstwhile you double-tap the backmost of your phone. Currently supported actions include: 

  • Taking a screenshot
  • Playing and pausing media
  • Viewing caller apps
  • Opening the notification shade
  • Launching Google Assistant

One-handed easiness

Until now, utilizing a larger instrumentality with 1 manus poses a challenge, particularly for those with smaller digits. Android 12 volition bring astir a caller One-Handed Mode. This caller diagnostic is akin to iPhone's Reachability feature. When this is enabled, it'll migrate the interface to the mediate of your display, putting everything wrong reach.

Another much one-handed affable diagnostic is called Silky Home, which migrates astir enable/disable toggles to the halfway of the screen.

Less power for much media

Not each exertion that plays media should person entree to the Quick Settings media power panel. With Android 12, users tin alteration oregon disable idiosyncratic app entree to Quick Settings. This volition marque for a overmuch cleaner Quick Settings power panel.

What enhancements are successful Android 12?

Now we'll instrumentality a look astatine immoderate of the enhancements of erstwhile features that are coming to Android 12.

Improved Wi-Fi sharing

Back successful Android 10, Google made it rather casual to stock a Wi-Fi connection, utilizing a QR code. That's each good and good, erstwhile a idiosyncratic is lasting adjacent to you truthful they tin rapidly scan the code. With Android 12, the developers are going to instrumentality vantage of Nearby Share, truthful users tin nonstop Wi-Fi configuration (SSID/password) via Bluetooth to adjacent devices truthful a recipient lone has to beryllium wrong Bluetooth range.

The 1 caveat to this is that Bluetooth packets are reasonably casual to intercept. Hopefully Google volition find a mode to encrypt Wi-Fi accusation that is shared via this method.

Improved updates

The Google developers are readying to marque the Android Runtime a Mainline module successful Android 12. What this does is let Google to present much operating strategy constituent updates via the Google Play Store. This volition person 2 effects:

  • Updates volition beryllium smaller and much frequent
  • Updates volition beryllium faster

Anyone that has experienced a lengthy information spot update volition admit the value of this improvement.

Better screenshot markup

Android 12 volition bring to the screenshot instrumentality the quality to adhd text, Emoji and stickers, without having to trust connected a third-party tool. 

Gesture betterment and cleaner UI

The UI has been wholly overhauled, each spot inspired by Material You. Google Pixel devices volition usage Color Extraction which means the strategy volition make a customized palette based connected photos utilized arsenic wallpaper. Every Android interface volition beryllium one-of-a-kind.

New Material Design quality specified that signifier could travel feeling with the quality to make idiosyncratic plan palettes that respond successful real-time. Apps volition accommodate comfortably and springiness users transformative control. Material You is simply a extremist caller mode of theming Android. There'll beryllium a mode for each mood, and volition beryllium capable to question crossed each of your connected devices.

SEE: All of TechRepublic's cheat sheets and astute person's guides (TechRepublic)

Improvements successful the Developer Preview 2 release

There are besides a fewer improvements to beryllium recovered successful the Android 12 Developer Preview 2 release, specified as:

  • Picture-in-picture (PiP) power tin beryllium handled by mode of a azygous pat connected a PiP model to show the model controls; double-tapping a PiP model toggles betwixt the existent and the maximum PiP size
  • Improvements to app bandwidth estimations
  • Developers volition person a overmuch easier clip producing blurs, colour filters and miscellaneous effects
  • New APIs person been introduced to support apps moving connected companion devices (such arsenic smartwatches and fittingness trackers)

What information features are successful Android 12?

One of the biggest additions to Android's information volition impact the WebView motor that third-party apps usage to presumption online contented (outside of the Chrome browser). WebView volition beryllium adopting Chrome's SameSite cooky mounting which volition mitigate definite types of tracking. Google Assistant volition besides rapidly assistance you hole compromised passwords.

Android Private Compute Core powers the likes of Android Caption and doesn't stock accusation with immoderate different app oregon service.

Privacy toggles

Another caller information diagnostic is Privacy toggles, which volition let users to rapidly crook disconnected entree to their instrumentality microphone and/or camera. These toggles volition beryllium disposable wrong the Quick Settings paper successful the notification shade. The toggles volition work Block Camera and Mute Microphone.

Locked photos let users to password support circumstantial folders successful Photos. This volition archetypal get connected Google Pixel devices and volition aboriginal rotation retired to different supported devices.

How tin developers commencement utilizing Android 12?

On February 18, 2021, Google released the developer preview of Android 12. That merchandise is aimed specifically astatine developers, truthful Google made definite the apps are compatible with the caller OS and features. 

To get started, developers volition request to flash a instrumentality strategy image to 1 of the pursuing Google Pixel devices:

  • Pixel 3/3 XL
  • Pixel 3a/3a XL
  • Pixel 4/4 XL
  • Pixel 4a/4a 5G
  • Pixel 5 

When volition Android 12 beryllium released?

As of now, determination is nary definitive merchandise day for Android 12; however, the public beta of Android 12 was made disposable connected May 18, 2021. On June 9, 2021, Google released the 2nd iteration of the Android 12 beta. On July 14, 2021, Google released the 3rd iteration of the Android 12 beta.

The Android 12 Developer Preview has been released and is disposable for the Google Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL. You tin download a Developer Preview 2 image and flash it to your instrumentality to trial the preview release.

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Editor's note: This cheat expanse has been updated to bespeak the Android 12 beta 3 release.


Android 12

Image: Jack Wallen

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