17 Apr 2021: Here's another look at features in Android 12's Developer Preview
The hype surrounding Android 12 has been growing since Google began to release Developer Preview builds. With the third Developer Preview right around the corner, XDA-Developers got some hands-on time with a yet unreleased build of the smartphone operating system.
XDA-Developers claims that this build is newer than the latest Developer Preview. Here's an overview of the important new features incorporated in this version.
Hey Google: Support for scrolling screenshots, new Google Assistant summon method spotted
In this build, Android 12 finally gets native support for scrolling screenshots, the feature reportedly didn't work with every app.
The new build also allows Google Assistant to be summoned by holding down the power button, in addition to existing methods such as "squeezing" the phone and calling "Hey Google".
Both features have been a staple of third-party Android forks such as Xiaomi's MIUI.
Emojis galore: Mobile hotspot feature gets toggle to switch Wi-Fi hotspot frequency
Other functional improvements bundled into this build include a search bar for the widget picker menu and many new emojis.
"Wi-Fi" is now called "internet" and a toggle has been added to "extend compatibility" for mobile hotspots. It switches frequency from 5GHz to 2.4GHz. Quick Setting tiles have been added for smart home controls and the Cards & Passes menu.
Design improvements: Developer Preview features new volume panel UI, animations
In the design department, subtle changes such as a thicker brightness slider, a new app drawer opening animation, tweaked Ripple and Overscroll effects, and a new charging animation were seen.
Additionally, the "Reduce Brightness" setting has been renamed "Extra dim".
XDA-Developers also found a new more rounded user interface for the volume panel that changes accent color to match the system theme.
Illusion of speed: Android 12 automatically generates splash screen for each app
Copying Apple's trick to enhance the perception of speed, this build reportedly displays a splash screen for every app while the main activity is loading. However, sometimes it conflicted with the app's own inbuilt splash screen.
The design for Android 12's much-anticipated conversation widget picker was tweaked. The widget would show your most recent conversations, status updates, and missed calls irrespective of the app.
Copy-paste alerts: New toggles offer granular control over app notifications
This build also sees a refreshing overhaul to Android's privacy features. A new toggle delivers a toast message when an app in use accesses the clipboard.
In addition to this, the build also features new toggles for notification permissions under "Real-time," "Conversations," "Default," and "Silent" categories that offer granular control.
However, XDA-Developers couldn't toggle these options.
Location tweaks: Now, control whether apps access either accurate or approximate location
Another significant change was made to how third-party apps collect location data. In the new Android build, the pop-up requesting access to the device's location data would let the user select whether to share precise data or approximate data.
The pop-up also features images that help users understand the difference between the options.
The process of sideloading apps has also been modified slightly.
Wait and watch: Be warned, all features may not make the final cut
That said, all these features likely won't feature in the Android 12 OTA update that would eventually roll-out.
The aforementioned features were spotted in a Developer Preview build of the operating system, and many features may be changed or scrapped entirely by the time a stable build is announced.
Nevertheless, we remain hopeful that Android 12 will pack significant improvements.