Android 12 is already available on some smartphones in a Developer Preview version. List of new features, compatible smartphones … find everything you need to know about this new version of the Google OS.

android 12 1200x799 - new products and smartphones compatible with the update

In February, Google unveiled the first Developer Preview of Android 12, the future version of its mobile operating system also known internally under the code name Snow cone. As its name suggests, this version is for the moment intended for developers so that they can adapt the compatibility of their applications. As this PD is full of bugs and incomplete parts, it is not recommended to use it on your main phone.

What’s new, date of deployment, compatible smartphones… In this file, find all the information on Android 12.

Android 12 deployment date

Launched in February in DP1, Android 12 will be entitled as usual to several updates divided into different phases before the final release. So count three Developer Previews adding features, three beta versions to improve the performance and stability of the system, a fourth beta implementing the final APIs, then one or more Candidate versions before the final deployment at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Note, however, that this is a provisional schedule and that unforeseen circumstances may lead to last minute changes.

timeline roadmap android 12 - new products and smartphones compatible with the update

During Developer Preview, the update must be done by manual flash. From beta versions, updates via OTA will be available.

New in Android 12

Below are all the new features in Android 12, whether officially announced by Google on the official blog or discovered using the system.

More security

Privacy is at the heart of everything we do, and in Android 12 we continue to give users more transparency and control while keeping their devices and data secure. », Assures Google. Several changes have been made within the system in this regard.

The WebView has thus been revised in order to improve the transparency of the use of cookies across the sites. Its operation is thus similar to what the various browsers offer, Chrome at the top of the list.

Application developers also need to be more transparent. When exporting and assigning activities or services, Android 12 requires more transparency. For example, it is now impossible for an app in the background to launch a service in the foreground.

The MAC address of the phone can no longer be accessed from an application.

Better user experience

Photo and video encoding / decoding

Android 12 brings a new layer of video decoding in order to make HEVC and AVC video formats work at all levels of the system, including in applications that do not support it natively. Using this format improves file compression and allows in fine save storage space.

For still images, the system adds support for the AV1 Image File (AVIF) format. This results in a much higher image quality than an equivalent size.

Audio improvements

With Android 12, apps can now use the vibrations of haptic feedback to create a more immersive audio experience. For example, a video calling application could integrate personalized ringtones in order to identify a caller through haptic feedback. This feature can also be used in games to simulate the granularity of a terrain for example in a racing game. Note also that the vibration can be redirected to the controller when a controller is connected.

Spatial audio is also supported to handle up to 24 audio channels (up from eight previously)

New notifications

The display of notifications has been revised to bring a touch of modernity, as a preview before the launch of Android 12. In addition to a general redesign with transparency effects and new icons, transitions and animations have been improved for more fluidity.

A change in the triggering of notifications also aims to improve the speed of launching the application when clicking on a notification.

Widget management made easy

To make it easier to find widgets, the widget selection screen now shows a list of different apps. Each of them can then be unrolled to reveal the different available widgets, organized in the form of a horizontal carousel, as before.

New features

A game mode

Like many other brands, Google has integrated a new game menu into Android 12 DP2. Although not available by default, this screen allows you to quickly manage certain phone settings, such as activating Do Not Disturb mode or an “FPS” option. Which should improve in-game performance. There is also quick access to streaming on YouTube, screenshot or screen recording.

android 12 game dashboard screenshot 9to5google 1200x584 - new products and smartphones compatible with the update

Android 12 Game Dashboard // Source: 9to5Google

Its presence in a “Google” package and not “Android” suggests that this would be an exclusivity of the Pixels.

Simple WiFi sharing

To facilitate the sharing of your WiFi code, Android 12 integrates a QR Code system directly from the WiFi settings menu. Even simpler, it is possible to use proximity sharing to allow anyone to connect with a few clicks without having to copy the code or scan anything.

Improved Picture in Picture (PiP)

The Picture in Picture interface has been improved in Android 12. Now, a single click on the floating window displays the video player controls while a double click maximizes the window. Until now, a single click performed both of these actions while a double click brought the video back to full screen.

It is also possible to temporarily hide the floating window in order to easily consult the content that might be below.

A new one-handed mode similar to the iPhone

With the Android 12 DP2, Google has integrated a one-handed mode very close to what Apple offers on the iPhone. By sliding your finger towards the bottom of the screen, the display shrinks and goes down to the bottom half of the screen. The screen automatically returns to its normal size after a few seconds of inactivity (or by doing the opposite gesture).

Extended screenshots

Already available on many smartphones, thescreenshotextended makes a shy entry on Android 12. Basic inaccessible, this feature can be activated via an ADB command, adding a button when taking a screenshot to scroll through the recording of the image. This function is still uncertain for the final version of the update.

Greater compatibility

As part of the Project Mainline aimed at separating the blocks of Android from major updates, Android 12 integrates the ART module into the Google Play system in order to allow simplified updates of this layer allowing the execution of the applications. Improvements can thus be made to manage the execution performance of applications or memory management without requiring a major system update.

The different device formats are also better managed. After the optimization of the tablet format and that of folding screen smartphones, it is the turn of TVs to be entitled to it. Thus, the preview of Android 12 for Android TV is also available to improve the experience of applications on this platform.

And more

Many other optimizations have been made to the system, such as improving gestural navigation for example to avoid false positives (or false negatives) as much as possible. A new design using the colors of the wallpaper in the interface has also been discovered, but is not yet available.

Smartphones compatible with Android 12

As always, the Android 12 Developer Preview is currently only available for the latest Google phones. It is therefore possible to install it on the following smartphones:

Other devices are expected to be compatible from the first beta expected in May. For the others, we will have to wait several more months …