Google has finally taken the wraps off the stable release of Android 12, the latest version of the Android operating system. However, unlike previous versions of Android where the announcement comes with update notifications for eligible devices starting with Google’s own Pixel line, that isn’t the case this year.
The release was confirmed in a post on the Android Developers Blog. “We’re pushing the source to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and officially releasing the latest version of Android” said Google in the post.
Here’s what’s new in Android 12
A new UI – Material You
Android 12 brings a redesigned user interface with a new design language called Material You. Users will notice the changes in the redesigned widgets which feature rounded corners, interactive controls, and dynamic colors.
Notification UI and Stretch overscroll
There is also a refreshed notification UI with a more modern look and custom notifications with standard affordances to make them consistent with other notifications.
Stretch overscroll is a new stretch feature that has been added to make scrolling more smooth. Users will see the new stop indicator effect both within the system and in apps.
App launch splash screens
Google says it has also added splash screens for all apps on Android 12 and app developers will be able to customize the splash screen as they wish.
Faster, more efficient system and performance
Android 12 also brings improvements in system performance. According to the blog post, the CPU time used by core system services has been reduced by 22%, and the use of big cores by 15%. Apps also start and load faster thanks to optimized I/O.
To further improve the experience, Android 12 will prevent apps from starting foreground services while in the background.
There is a new privacy dashboard in Settings that allows users to see which apps access the microphone, camera, and location data. Android 12 has also added an option for users to choose between sharing their precise location or approximate location with apps.
Users will also see indicators in the status bar when an app has access to the microphone or camera. There is also an option on supported devices for users to toggle microphone and camera access for an app.
You can read the full list of changes Android 12 brings here.
When will the Android 12 update arrive?
Google has revealed that the Android 12 update will arrive on Pixel devices in the next few weeks while devices from Samsung, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi will receive the update later this year.
There are speculations that Google’s decision to delay the release of the update is because it wants the new OS to debut with the Pixel 6 series which makes sense. So there is a chance the Pixel 6 series will launch first before the update arrives for eligible devices.