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Android 12 gets biggest design change in years: What’s new and different for your phone

Google unveiled Android 12 this week, with a redesigned lock screen, updates, and color overhaul. So, here is the basic stuff you need to know about.

Google redesigned Android 12 to be launched at Google I/O 2021.

Google’s Android 12 operating system, unveiled on Tuesday at the Google I/O developer conference, marks the most significant interface improvement in the Android operating system history, with customized color palettes, improved and quicker notifications, and battery-saving efficiency.

During the Google I/O keynote, Sameer Samat, vice president of Android, claimed that there are currently more than 3 billion operating Android devices worldwide. Android 12 is now available as a public beta (here’s how to download Android 12), with a general release expected in September. The new features of Android 12 can vary depending on your cell phone. When you pick your wallpaper on Google Pixel phones, a function called color extraction will refresh the whole device, including your lock screen, widgets, and alerts, with personalized complementary colors, according to Samat.

Also, another aspect of the overhaul includes more natural smooth movements, new animations, and redefined touch reactions. You’ll see an always-on screen display and more intelligent and flexible notifications; for example, as you dismiss them on the lock screen, the clock will become bigger, letting you know about the deadlines.

Many under the hood enhancements claim to speed up the handset and conserve battery life, including reducing the CPU time needed for core system resources by up to 22% and reducing the system server’s usage of large cores by up to 15%, according to Samat.

Notifications are now refreshed to have a clearer at-a-glance experience. The Quick Settings panel has also been updated, which now features Google Pay and Home Controls, as well as more versatility, allowing you to keep anything you need in one location that’s easy to find.

Once you press the power button, you will activate Google Assistant, which will assist you in making phone calls, asking different questions, and reading your favorite articles aloud.

Google is experimenting with privacy in Android 12, focusing on three main sensors that it sees as potential trigger points for common people: venue, camera, and microphone.

The camera and microphone will now switch on a small green dot in the upper-right corner of the frame, signaling that they are active. There are also two new toggles in Quick Settings for fully shutting them off from the device core settings.

Whenever an app attempts to use one of them, Android can show a box asking if you want to re-enable it. If you don’t, the app feels it has keys to the camera or microphone, but Android just gives it dark nothingness and silence. It’s a whole different state of mind and we love it!

You would be able to restrict your position access to an estimate in Android 12. Google is introducing another feature on what kind of access you can give an app in terms of venue. There are configurations for granting either “approximate” or “precise” positions, in addition to the options to restrict access to one time or only when the app is open.

Approximate can provide the app with less precise location information, so it won’t be able to predict the exact address. It may be useful for items like weather applications, according to Google. But, please keep in mind that any licenses you’ve never given will be exempted, but you’ll need to go through settings to change them to approximate.

Google is also developing a new “Privacy Dashboard” that will concentrate on the mic, location, and camera data. It displays a pie chart with the number of times each has been used in the last 24 hours, as well as a list of each time it was used. You can access the settings for any program by tapping in.

That is Android 12 in action. It may not be the most significant feature change in years, but it is unquestionably the most significant visual update in quite some time. And surely Android needed it. When new ideas poured on top of each other, several corners of the OS became a little crazy over time and many updates. Android 12 does not fully rewrite the code, but it is a major and optimistic effort to make the whole structure sound more cohesive and consistent.

The update that was available this week is the beta version — which lacks the theming tools, widgets, and several other features. As we get closer to the final release later this year, certain features can be layered in. Assuming Google will get this new paint onto all of the corners, it would make Google’s version of Android a lot more fun to use.

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