19 May 2021
Google at this year’s I/O 2021 announced so many new updates to its software and services and along with them, it also took the wraps off Android 12 beta and showed off some design changes and features that will arrive in future releases.
The new big upgrade brings a radical change in terms of design, which was pretty overdue before. For the past few years, the Android UI didn’t really get any revamp but the Android 12 brings a massive overhaul.
Google has revamped everything from the lock screen to the Home screen. The System Settings has also been given a new and improved structure. Everything has been tuned in accordable with Material You, Google’s latest design language for its products. Google says it is unifying its software and hardware ecosystems under this single design language.
Google says it has rethought the entire experience, from the colors to shapes to offer you a more personal experience. Google touts that the Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic, and personal than before. Design personalization brings liberty and unlocks the ability to have complete control over the design.
Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, you’ll be able to completely personalize your phone with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. Using what Google calls color extraction, you will be able to choose your wallpaper and your system will automatically know what colors are dominant and will adopt the color scheme. So, eventually, the chosen color scheme spreads across the entire OS, including the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, the new widget, and much more.
Furthermore, Android 12 brings smooth motion and animations. Google claims Android 12 feels more fluid, responsive, and efficient, thanks to some under the hood improvements. According to Google, it was able to achieve the desired results by reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.
Furthermore, notification shade, quick settings, and even the power button have all been reimagined.
Any overhaul or even the minute improvement in the OS is incomplete without the improvements around privacy. Google announces that the Android 12 brings new features that give you more transparency around which apps are accessing your data. It offers more controls so you can make informed choices about how much private information your apps can access.
Now, the new Privacy Dashboard offers a single view into your permissions settings. This panel also shows what data is being accessed, how often, and by which apps. Google has even added a new indicator to the top right of the status bar so you know when your apps are accessing your microphone or camera.
These new features are now available in Android 12 beta for Pixel and many other devices.