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Google Shares First Preview of Android 12

If you’re curious about what’s next for Android, you’re about to find out.

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While Android 11 hasn’t been out very long, Google is already working hard on Android 12. In fact, the company has already released a massive breakdown of many of the features coming to the latest version of the OS on the Android Developers Blog.

What’s New in Android 12?

Right now, the features Google has announced are on the more technical side, with not as many of the consumer features being revealed yet.

Google started its blog post talking about the privacy features offered by Android 12. Most of them are very technical and won’t really be too exciting to end-users. But things like Safer exporting of components, Restricted Netlink MAC, Modern SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView, and Safer handling of Intents will help keep your phone more secure while you’re browsing the internet and using your phone. If you’re an app developer, these updates should be exciting (and more understandable) for you.

The company also talked about some features that’ll be available to help improve the experience of Android 12 users. For example, Google is working on Compatible media transcoding. Basically, it allows the phone to transcode videos into the higher-quality and better-compressed HEVC format. There’s also AVIF image support, which provides better image quality and compression for photos.

Here are the other fairly technical user experience features:

    • Foreground service optimizations
    • Rich content insertion
    • Audio-coupled haptic effect
    • Multi-channel audio
    • Immersive mode API improvements for gesture nav
    • Notification UI updates
    • Faster, more responsive notifications
    • Improved Binder IPC calls

Obviously, those are all pretty technical names for new features and as mentioned, most of these apply to developers and how they can improve user experience. If you’re curious about what they all mean, check out the post on the Android Developers Blog.

Google is also adding features that will make app updates faster and smoother by prioritizing app compatibility. There’s a lot to that, but the general idea is that developers will create more compatible apps in Android 12.

Can You Try Android 12 Yet?

If you’re a little too excited and want to get your hands on the latest Android version, you can actually download and install the developer’s preview right now. If you own a Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL, Pixel 3a or 3a XL, Pixel 4 or 4 XL, Pixel 4a or 4a 5G, or Pixel 5, you can go to the Google Developer Preview page and download it for your device.

If you do elect to try out the OS, remember that this is the first developer preview. Not all of the consumer-facing features are added yet, and it’s still early in development.

For those who are patient, Google says it expects Android 12 to be ready for final release in August, so you won’t have to wait too long to install Android 12.

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