At the Google I/O conference 2021, Google unveiled a brand new look for its mobile operating system, Android 12. The new version features bigger buttons, and a large clock on the home screen that changes in size depending on how many notifications appear.
According to Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android, and Google Play, Android 12 is the biggest design change in Android history.
“We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light, and motion. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic, and personal than ever before,” Samat said during the conference.
The notification shade is more intuitive and playful, with a crisp, at-a-glance view of users’ app notifications, whatever users are currently listening to or watching, and Quick Settings that let them control practically the entire operating system with a swipe and a tap.
Android 12 includes new features that give users more transparency around which apps are accessing their data and more controls to make informed choices about how much private information your apps can access.
The new Privacy Dashboard offers a single view into permissions settings as well as what data is being accessed, how often, and by which apps. It also lets easily revoke app permissions right from the dashboard.
“We have added a new indicator to the top right of your status bar so you know when your apps are accessing your microphone or camera. And if you want to remove app access to these sensors for the entire system, we have added two new toggles in Quick Settings,” Samat said.
Beyond these new privacy features in Android 12, the company said it is also building privacy protections directly into the OS. Android 12 is packed with other user experiences, like improved accessibility features for people with impaired vision, scrolling screenshots, and conversation widgets.
“We’re also delivering on our promise to make third-party app stores easier to use on Android 12. You can find many of these features in Android 12 Beta, available on Pixel and other devices,” Samat said.
Google has launched Android 12 Beta 1 brings the next version of the mobile OS to even more Pixel owners, with installation now possible through a simple sign-up. This “initial beta-quality release” is available as an OTA update to early adopters that enroll in the Android Beta program.