It’s time to update For Google’s mobile operating system. The latest version is Android 12 and it is full of all sorts of improvements, some big and some small.
Google’s Android runs on more than 3 billion devices worldwide. You’ll find it on Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony, OnePlus, and naturally on top smartphones from Google’s Pixel line. The Android 12 update is more than a leap, but there are some meaningful upgrades hidden here. Before diving into the features, here’s how to get an update on your phone.
How to download Android 12
Not everyone will be able to download Android 12 immediately. Most manufacturers take months to publish major updates, often putting their spin on top of the Google version. But some devices can upgrade now.
If you have a Google Pixel 3 or newer, you can get Android 12 right now. Soon, it will also be available for Android One devices, and Google says it will be available on Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Oppo, Realm, Techno, Xiaomi and Vivo devices later this year (many of which were part of the Android 12 beta program). Before you upgrade, it’s always smart to back up everything, so go ahead Settings> System> Backup> Backup now. We have more detailed instructions on how to backup your Android phone.
To see if you can now download the update to your Pixel, see Settings> System And tap Advanced> Update procedure. It should search for updates automatically, but you can tap Check for updates. Keep in mind that updates usually arrive within a few days, so even eligible phones may have to wait a while.
If you have an Android phone from another manufacturer, check out the company’s website, forum or social media when you can expect Android 12 to land. Most high-end Android phones can expect at least a two-year price upgrade (Samsung Phone S10 and newer ones can expect four), so if you bought your phone in late 2019 or more recently, you’ll be able to get it at some point.
Top new features
We’ve been dubbing Android 12 Beta for a while now and these are our 12 favorite features. There are many more minor upgrades and you can search Google’s developer site or the Android 12 website to learn more.
1. A new look
The new look is the first thing you notice about Android 12. Google has rebuilt its design language with a visual overhaul that relies on its deep customization options. The element that you have focused on personalization, and can automatically extract a color palette from your chosen wallpaper and apply it across the entire operating system to volume controls and widgets from lock screens, app icons and notification shadows. These colors even enter apps, although at the moment it only works with Google apps. The material is a pixel-first exclusive feature, but it will launch for the wider Android ecosystem next year. The new design includes even bigger Quick Settings tiles, bold text and larger fonts across the OS.
Fun and fluid, new interface animations and conversions are more power-efficient. The user interface is much more flexible than before, with changes based on context and input. The interesting new clock widget, for example, displays the time explicitly but shrinks to the lock screen when you receive a new notification, so you can tell at a glance when something is waiting. Speaking of widgets, I expect more than a dozen new and refreshed ones from Google by the end of October.
2. Quick Quick Settings
When you drag the notification shadow on Android 12, you will see that the quick settings icons above have changed. Older round icons have become round rectangles that display more information (and are easier to tap). These now match your color scheme and you can still customize which tiles you want to see and in which order. Google has also added control of Pay and Home by providing quick access to Google Payments or smart home devices. You can still tap to turn things on and off, or long-press to jump to the relevant settings page.
Turning off Wi-Fi or data may not be your choice now a two-step process since the two have been merged into one tile. Tap it, then tap your carrier name or the toggle next to your Wi-Fi network if you want to turn off one of them.
3. A privacy dashboard
Privacy is a major theme on Android 12, or at least Google is trying to make it a priority. This is reflected in the new Privacy Dashboard. A single screen displays all your permission settings. It shows which data is being accessed, by which apps and how often in the last 2 hours. A convenient timeline view adds some transparency and makes it easier to control what you’re sharing and revoke permissions that you don’t want for certain apps.
4. Microphone and camera control
Carrying a device with a microphone and camera is always a matter of privacy, so an indicator at the top right of the status bar lets you know when apps are being used. Google has also added the option to turn off the new microphone or camera in the new Quick Settings when you drag your notifications.
5. More location tracking control
The idea that third-party apps can track your exact location and who knows with the data is frustrating. Some apps, such as the Weather app, have valid reasons to check your location, but they are not required Precise That’s why Google has added a new option to location tracking that lets you specify the exact or approximate. Now you can get local data without sharing accurate records of your movements.
Similarly, Google has updated Bluetooth permissions on Android so that the devices you connect to, such as headphones or smartwatches, no longer need to access your location information.
6. Rich notifications
Notifications on Android 12 show a clearer and more elegant transition. They are still expandable but can now contain more rich content, and tapping them will allow you to access relevant apps faster than ever before. Developers have more leeway to secure lock screen notifications by first requesting user authentication.
7. Scrolling screenshots
Phone makers like Samsung and OnePlus already let you go beyond the visible screen with screenshots and scroll down to capture a complete web page. Now the scrolling screenshots have been baked on Android. You took the same screenshot as before, but now there is one Capture more Button. Markup tools for editing and annotating screenshots have also been improved with the option to add text, emoji and stickers.
8. Easy Wi-Fi sharing
You can already share your Wi-Fi password with a QR code, but Android 12 makes it even easier, adding one Nearby Below the code is the button that triggers the share feature near Android. It will scan for almost any device nearby, and you can tap wirelessly on the device you want to share your Wi-Fi details with.
9. On-device search
Google has added AppSearch to Android 12; This on-device search engine can search for apps and other content on your phone, such as indexed content in Spotlight Search on the iPhone. It works even if your device is offline. On Pixel phones, this option appears as a separate search bar in the app drawer. You can filter the search with toggles for shortcuts, people, settings and pixel tips.
10. One-handed mode
Like the easy availability option on the iPhone, one-handed modes have become important as the phone’s screen gets bigger. With this you can turn it on Settings> System> One-handed mode On Android 12, you can swipe to any app to drag the top of the display downwards. This makes it much easier to reach those notifications and icons with your thumb without using your other hand. To exit, you simply swipe from the bottom of the screen or tap the app at the top of the screen.
11. Good gaming
There are some improvements in Android 12 just for mobile gamers. Google has added a game dashboard to Pixels that provides a toggle to show your frames per second (FPS) during Do Not Disturb, screenshot and screen recording, live streaming for YouTube, and gameplay. Other manufacturers have had variations on this feature for some time.
Instead of waiting for the full download to finish, you can start playing some games now, as you can on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Or the ability of people to make more choices in performance settings.
12. Adversity and end
- You can now long press the power button to console Google Assistant (many phones like the Pixel have the option to view the power / restart menu in the notification drawer). If you don’t like it, you can disable it Press and hold the Settings> System> Gestures> Power button.
- Automatically rotate faster using the front-facing camera on the Pixel 4 and the new Google phone and look at your face to determine when your screen will rotate. The process is local, so it’s not sending pictures anywhere.
- Haptic feedback can now be combined with audio, so music and movies can be more immersive, your custom ringtone can persuade your phone to vibrate in a timely manner, or a game can add vibration to mimic a jerky trip.
- The QuickTap feature is only for Pixel phones, but it lets people double-tap on the back of their Pixel to open notifications, launch an app, summon Google Assistant, or take screenshots (among other options). You can find it Settings> System> Gestures.
- New emoji designs are rolling out with changes to about 400 existing emojis.
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