With 'colour extraction', Android 12 users can personalise their smartphone with a custom colour palette and redesigned widgets.
Android 12 features have been announced at the Google I/O 2021. The latest Android update gives users more control over customisation and also focuses on privacy.
Google has introduced a new Privacy Dashboard that lets users know which apps collect their data. Another new Android 12 feature introduced at Google I/O 2021 is 'Material You' that aims to make the device visually more personal.
Google I/O 2021: Android 12 announced
Android 12 will rollout to eligible smartphones later this year. The company has released the Android 12 beta for Pixel smartphones. Select phones from OEMs like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, OPPO, etc., are also eligible for Android 12 beta.
Android 12 features
Android 12 is bringing a major design overhaul with Material You. It has more rounded buttons, changing colours, smoother animations and more.
Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, users can personalise their phone with a custom colour palette and redesigned widgets. Google calls it 'colour extraction', which determines the colours in the wallpaper and then applies it systemwide, including the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets, etc.
You can change the wallpaper anytime you want and the system will automatically change the colour of the buttons, widgets, icons, etc., depending on the wallpaper’s dominant and complementary colours.
Google has introduced a bunch of new features to highlight that privacy is at the centre of Android 12. First, there is a new Privacy Dashboard. It offers a single view into your permissions settings as well as what data is being accessed, how often and by which apps. The dashboard also lets you easily revoke app permissions right from the dashboard.
Google has also added a new iOS 14-like indicator at the top-right corner of the status bar to let users know when an app is accessing their microphone or camera. You can choose to remove app access to these sensors for the entire system.
Android 12 also gives users more control over how much information they share with apps. With new location permissions, apps can be limited to seeing just your approximate location instead of a precise one. For example, weather apps don’t need your precise location to offer an accurate forecast.
Lockscreen and animations
The lockscreen is also getting a major revamp. It now has a huge clock at the centre, which gets smaller when a notification pops up. The feature makes it easier for you to know if you have any unread notifications that you might have missed.
Google has also worked on improving the animations in Android 12. “From the moment you pick up an Android 12 device, you’ll feel how it comes alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone quickly responds to your touch with smooth motion and animations. For example, when you dismiss your notifications on the lock screen, your clock will appear larger so you know when you’re all caught up,” Google said.
It claims to have simplified interactions and re-crafted the entire underlying system to offer a fluid and efficient user experience. This was achieved by some under-the-hood improvements including reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22 percent and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15 percent.
The notification panel on Android 12 is getting a major revamp. It is now “more intuitive and playful.” The quick tiles are now rounded rectangles to show more information. Users will also see lesser tiles now (four compared to six on Android 11).
Google Pay and Home Control settings are integrated into Quick Settings. You can still customise the Quick Settings to have everything you need most in one easy-to-access place.
Android 12 release is slated for later this year. We can expect the company to release the new Android update to users in August or September 2021.