It is mid-February, which suggests it is time for Google to start out releasing the primary developer preview of its upcoming OS replace. The corporate’s VP of engineering Dave Burke mentioned in a weblog publish that with Android 12, it is “investing in key areas to assist ship a cultured expertise and higher efficiency.”
Most of at this time’s information pertain to builders, however we are able to glean some clues about what new options is perhaps coming. For example, there can be help for extra media sorts like AVIF for larger high quality photographs in smaller recordsdata. Gesture navigation can be simplified and extra constant in immersive mode, which applies if you’re doing issues like enjoying a recreation, studying a guide or watching a video. Whereas there’s nonetheless going to be the choice for builders to solely present the translucent navigation bar (to forestall unintentional 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 house.
On this preview, we additionally study that apps in Android 12 will be capable to present what Google referred to as “audio-coupled haptic suggestions by the cellphone’s vibrator.” This is able to enable builders to create experiences like simulating tough terrain in a racing recreation, whereas a video calling app may use customized ringtones to create vibration patterns that permit the consumer determine the caller with out listening to or seeing the machine. Notifications are additionally getting “extra fashionable, simpler to make use of and extra useful,” 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 can be embellished “with customized content material with icon and broaden affordances to match all different notifications.” That wording just isn’t very clear nevertheless it seems like not less than notifications can 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 also be including an Android Runtime Module (ART) within the newest OS that can enable the corporate to “push updates to the core runtime and libraries on units operating Android 12.” That is a part of Challenge Mainline that lets Google push safety and different essential updates to apps through the Play Retailer, so you will not have to attend until a system improve for vital 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 also 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 yr, and is essential 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 might enable customers to stick content material from clipboards, keyboards or drag and drop sources. Google can also be including a bunch of latest controls for privateness and safety in addition to an HEVC transcoder in order that apps that do not help that video format can get it in AVC format as a substitute.
This preliminary preview launch is supposed just for builders, so Google is limiting it to guide downloads. Should you’re a developer and wish to examine Android 12 out, you possibly can set up the preview at this time by flashing a tool system picture to a Pixel cellphone (Pixel 3 and newer). Those that do not personal a Pixel machine can use the Android Emulator in Android Studio.