It is mid-February, which implies it is time for Google to begin releasing the primary developer preview of its upcoming OS replace. The corporate’s VP of engineering Dave Burke mentioned in a weblog submit that with Android 12, it is “investing in key areas to assist ship a refined expertise and higher efficiency.”
Most of at present’s information pertain to builders, however we will glean some clues about what new options may be coming. As an example, there might be assist for extra media sorts like AVIF for larger high quality photographs in smaller recordsdata. Gesture navigation might be simplified and extra constant in immersive mode, which applies while you’re doing issues like enjoying a recreation, studying a e book or watching a video. Whereas there’s nonetheless going to be the choice for builders to solely present the translucent navigation bar (to stop unintended swipes when in full display), any app that does not have this set will default to recognizing a swipe from the facet or backside as going again or dwelling.
On this preview, we additionally study that apps in Android 12 will be capable of present what Google known as “audio-coupled haptic suggestions by way of the cellphone’s vibrator.” This could permit builders to create experiences like simulating tough terrain in a racing recreation, whereas a video calling app might use customized ringtones to create vibration patterns that allow the consumer determine the caller with out listening to or seeing the system. Notifications are additionally getting “extra fashionable, simpler to make use of and extra purposeful,” with Burke writing that “We’re additionally optimizing transitions and animations throughout the system to make them extra easy.”
Burke additionally mentioned in Android 12, notifications might be embellished “with customized content material with icon and increase affordances to match all different notifications.” That wording is just not very clear nevertheless it seems like no less than notifications might be getting some new prospers, if not a refreshed look. Plus, the corporate is working to make alerts sooner and extra responsive by blocking middleman broadcast receivers or providers it calls “trampolines.”
Google can be including an Android Runtime Module (ART) within the newest OS that may permit the corporate to “push updates to the core runtime and libraries on units working Android 12.” That is a part of Challenge Mainline that lets Google push safety and different vital updates to apps through the Play Retailer, so you will not have to attend until a system improve for crucial fixes.
Android is not an OS only for telephones — it additionally powers tablets, foldables and TVs. Whereas Google did not share a lot on any options or updates coming for twin display or versatile units, it did share that this primary preview of Android 12 can be out there for Android TVs. That is so builders can begin testing their apps for the brand new Google TV interface the corporate launched final 12 months, and is vital for a extra constant and coherent expertise on that platform.
There are loads extra new options within the first developer preview of Android 12, together with “wealthy content material insertion” that may permit customers to stick content material from clipboards, keyboards or drag and drop sources. Google can be including a bunch of recent controls for privateness and safety in addition to an HEVC transcoder in order that apps that do not assist that video format can get it in AVC format as an alternative.
This preliminary preview launch is supposed just for builders, so Google is limiting it to handbook downloads. For those who’re a developer and need to examine Android 12 out, you possibly can set up the preview at present by flashing a tool system picture to a Pixel cellphone (Pixel 3 and newer). Those that do not personal a Pixel system can use the Android Emulator in Android Studio.