The twelfth version of Android was a little weird. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system was announced in February, and a beta version is already available for developers. But so far we know very little about how the final version of Android 12 actually looks. Rightly so, the new version seems to offer one of the biggest design updates in recent memory. The news comes as Google announces that more than 3 billion Android devices are currently in use.
The company unveiled Material You, a new adaptable, cross-platform user interface designed to give users more control over how their operating systems work. Among other things, this means that the content can be adapted to different design languages on the phones themselves. The feature will first arrive on Pixel phones this fall and roll out to other devices from there.
The notification shade is more intuitive and fun, with a crisp, at-a-glance view of notifications from your apps, whatever you’re listening to or watching right now, and quick settings that give you control over virtually the entire system. operation with a simple slip and a tap. The Quick Settings space doesn’t just look and feel different. It’s been rebuilt to include Google Pay and Home Controls, while also allowing for personalization so you can have everything you need most in one easy-to-access place.
Android 12 will be the first to benefit from the redesigned user interface and widgets, as well as other design elements. The company calls it “Android’s biggest design change in years.” The updates include general updates to things including the lock screen and wallpaper, which uses a variety of algorithms to deliver an ever-changing color scheme. The key word here seems to be “dynamic,” as different elements and widgets adapt to things like the time of day.
Along with an ever-changing design, Google is also touting the adaptation of security features with this latest update. The list includes new indicators for microphone and camera access – permissions that can be revoked directly from the operating system dashboard. The Private Compute Core, on the other hand, offers access to things like Smart Reply, depending on the user’s personal settings. This information is isolated from the network, while the calculation is carried out directly on the device itself.
Android handsets will also work more closely with Chrome OS in the future, including the ability to use the mobile device to connect directly to a Chromebook, as well as cross-platform notifications.
On the developer side, the company claims to have improved its performance. “We’ve reduced the CPU time needed for basic system services by 22%, so devices will be faster and more responsive,” Google writes on its developer blog. “We’ve also improved Android’s energy efficiency by reducing the use of large cores by the system server by 15% to help devices run longer before needing to recharge.” Transition and application start times have also been improved.
The new beta version is available from today. Google is promising more updates in the near future for what appears to be the biggest mobile operating system update in recent memory. The final version should arrive in the fall.