Android 12 is here: This is what the new Google operating system brings


After five beta releases, the time has come: The open source version of Google’s new Android 12 mobile operating system is here. In the coming weeks, Google wants to release the new OS version first for owners of Pixel smartphones, an exact date is still missing. Later in the year, the other manufacturers should follow suit and deploy Android 12 for their current devices.

With Android 12, Google is carrying out the most extensive change of scenery on Android since material design was introduced in 2014. As of Android 12, the entire color scheme of the operating system in menus and widgets should automatically adapt to the selected background image.

With the new design concept, which Google calls “Material You”, colors are no longer fixed, but bundled in different palettes of matching colors. Depending on the background image, the smartphone knits individual designs from complementary colors, which should give the entire operating system a uniform and coordinated look.

Android 12 bundles harmonious colors in countless palettes that are selected to match the background image.

(Image: Google)

It remains to be seen how manufacturers such as Samsung or Xiaomi, who impose their own surface on their Android phones, implement the Material You design. An overview of the smartphones that should get the update to Android 12 is available at TechStage.

The new design of Android 12 doesn’t stop at the lockscreen and the notification bar either. Under Android 12, the buttons for quick settings grow to larger and colored tiles, which is a bit reminiscent of iOS. In addition, sliders, for example for brightness and volume, are now much wider than on previous Android versions.

It should look personal and organic with subtle pastel colors and soft animations. The concept behind it: Colors are no longer fixed, but are grouped together in countless palettes of matching colors. On Google’s pixel smartphones, the design should dynamically adapt to the selected background image. The Android developers have also redesigned the lockscreen and notification bar. For example, under Android 12, the quicksetting buttons now grow to larger and colored tiles, so that they are reminiscent of the look of iOS. In addition, sliders, for example for brightness and volume, are significantly wider.

The light effect when touching buttons has also been adapted: Instead of dreary gray, control elements should now glow in a color that just matches the color scheme of the operating system. A color effect has been removed elsewhere: When scrolling, reaching the end point is no longer visualized by a colored glow, but by a stretch effect that stretches the content.

Google has also made the lockscreen on Android 12 more dynamic. The time occupies almost the entire screen in two rows. If there are notifications, they end up in the middle – the watch then shrinks and slides upwards. The new Material-You design makes a good impression both in terms of appearance and navigation. Large buttons and soft animations give a smooth feeling when using the device. The new effects shouldn’t put a strain on the battery life: According to Google, the processor load should even shrink under Android 12.

With Android 12, Google is also simplifying access to privacy settings. A new dashboard provides an overview of the authorizations of individual apps and allows quick changes. Among other things, it clearly shows which apps have accessed the camera, microphone, location and device sensors in the past 48 hours. You can simply revoke unwanted app permissions there.

In the course of this, Google finally untied an annoying bundle of permissions. Until now, the right to perform a Bluetooth scan was linked to the right to access the location. Among other things, this sparked discussions with the Corona warning app. The Android peculiarity was due to the fact that Bluetooth beacons allow the scanning app to draw conclusions about the location. With Android 12, however, there is a separate authorization for Bluetooth pairing for such apps.

When accessing the location, Android 12 also allows more flexible assignment of rights: users have the new option of enabling the app to share the exact location within a few meters or just a location radius that is accurate to a few kilometers. Some smaller functions should also improve the protection of privacy. This includes a virtual red recording LED in the status bar, which is always clearly visible when an app is currently accessing the camera or microphone.


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