28 July 2021
Android 12 beta 3 is out and it is now a step closer to the “Platform Stability” milestone, a pre-stage before the stable update. Google has rolled out several new features with the third beta of Android 12, including scrolling screenshots, enhanced auto-rotate, and more.
The scrolling screenshot lets you grab more content present on the screen. So, after upgrading to Android 12, if you take a screenshot, a toolbar will show up that includes “Capture more,” clicking on which will extend your screenshot further and you can tap on it to make it stop. You can also edit it afterward.
It took a lot of time for Google to bring this feature natively via an OS upgrade. For comparison, its OEMs like Samsung and OnePlus have made this capability available years ago via their custom UIs by the name of extended/expanded screenshots.
But, Google’s implementation of extended screenshots doesn’t work on everything. This feature allows you to take scrolling screenshots of apps only and not the websites accessed via browsers like Chrome. However, Google has said that it will continue to iterate on scrolling screenshots and will issue updates to the feature in Beta 4 that is set to come next month.
Android 12 beta 3 also brings enhanced auto-rotate, which according to Google is now better and faster. Google says it has enhanced Android’s auto-rotate feature with face detection, using the front-facing camera to more accurately recognize when to rotate the screen. Google says this feature might prove to be helpful when you’re lying down on a cousin or in bed. The enhanced auto-rotate will be available on the Pixel 4 and newer Pixel devices.
Another notable feature of the Android 12 Beta 3 is AppSearch, an on-device search engine that will allow users to search for content even while offline. AppSearch manages locally stored structured data and offers many options to developers to choose from if they want to index their apps’ content. Applications can use AppSearch to offer custom in-app search capabilities and let Google show that data in overall system searches as well. Developers can also choose to "securely share data with other apps, allowing them to search your app's data as well as their own."
AppSearch is a fast, mobile-first storage implementation that offers lower latency for indexing and searching over large datasets. Google touts it is highly efficient in doing indexing and querying over large data sets. It supports multi-language, such as English and Spanish. It does relevance ranking and usage scoring.
If you have a Pixel phone, you can sign up to take part in the public beta.