13 Brand New Features of Android 12

After a long wait, we can now talk about Android 12 and its brand new features. Today let’s take a peek on the list of brand new features of Android 12.

Before we really kick things off, there are some Android 12 features that you can access easily. We will show you completely user facing features, meaning that if you are happy to install what is a fairly buggy build of Android 12, then you can enjoy them right out of the gate.

Please note that we do not recommend that you install this on your main or default device as android 12 is only available in developer preview. Please only sideload the Android 12 developer previews on a secondary smartphone if you have one. A proper public facing Android 12 is set to kick off in a few months(August 2021) that will be far more stable and suitable for everyday usage. But without any further messing around. Here are the top new user facing features in the Android 12 developer preview.

New Media Player UI:

This first developer build of Android 12 includes a brand new UI for the media player with some associated enhancements. The new look media player UI is easily one of the top new features in this Android 12 developer preview as it gives far greater prominence to the controls. The player has changed on both the lock screen and when using the quick settings on the notification panel with a larger overall size and easier to manage controls.

When tapping the playback locator there is also a new pop up to quickly connect to our pair with a new Bluetooth device. Therefore streamlining the process to get a pair of earbuds or speakers connected to your smartphone.

The animations and accent color remain the same as the previous version. You can also now prevent apps from appearing in the notification shade as part of the media resumption controls. If you switch apps a lot and only want selected players to be active or resumed after a while, then this might be a neat option to keep things organized.

Settings App Redesign:

Naturally, the settings app has had a few revamps over the years, but it looks like there may be some more tweaks set to arrive over this entire Android 12 preview period. A new rounded search bar can be found at the top of the main settings page with a far larger profile picture.. When diving into each individual section or subsection, there are early hints of the upcoming in depth theming system. Each subsection now has a blue hue background that we hope will eventually follow your main device in later developer previews.

Pill-shaped Activation Toggles:

A minor but admittedly notable new feature that you might notice in the new Android 12 is the new pill-shaped activation toggles for options within that Settings menu. It’s far clearer if an option has been toggled, but there are some vibes of Mac OS with each individual switch. Surely it’s not a game changing feature within the first Android 12 developer preview, but it is likely evidence of some more changes set to arrive as part of the new settings UI. We can expect more updates to arrive in the coming days.

Tweaked App Shortcut Menu:

We can see another change of the developer preview is the app shortcut menus. That means when tapping and holding an app icon on your home screen, you might notice that the pop up is ever so slightly larger than in previous. It’s likely a quality of life tweak as it is marginally easier to rearrange, or actually activate the shortcut one handedly.

Share Wi-Fi Passcodes with Nearby Share:

In recent versions of Android, Google has put an emphasis on improving the ability to share your saved passcode for wireless networks. In Android 12. Not only are you able to share via QR code, you can also utilize the neat nearby share feature to share any saved WiFi pass codes or passwords with any nearby devices. Google has simply added a nearby share toggle to the WiFi password screen, meaning that if you dig into a network specific settings and tap the share button, you’ll see a dedicated button for nearby share, which on tapping will allow users to quickly share the SID and password of a network to other Android users.

Enhanced Screenshot Markup Tool:

A new screenshot markup utility is added in the list of Android 12 features. The first change to the screenshotting experience sees users no need to to tap the cross (X) to remove the bottom left corner notification. Swiping left is now the way to remove the notification.

You can also add text for the first time with seven colors to choose from, and a simple pinch in and out motion. By changing font size in a similar manner to that of Snapchat. You can also add emoji or stickers, which again can be resized, adding a fun layer to the standard screenshot tool among some other powerful options that are already present.

Notification Shade Redesign:

This time, the Android 12 has come with the notification shade is far more transparent and there are some notable changes about how notifications look and feel. Google has increased the size of apps within the notification shade with larger fonts and profile images also bumped where they are used.

There is some spacing between the top of the notification shade and your Quick Settings toggles. There’s also a new neat little clock icon that quickly launches the snooze menu for notifications themselves, which is far easier than having to half swipe a notification to activate the first tap immediately snooze for an hour while the expanded menu offers the added time limits.

More Pixel Launcher grid layout options:

Google introduced a new feature to the pixel launcher, adding the ability to adjust the grid size of your home screen. But at the time, the only available options were symmetrical or square. The choice has been two by two, three by three, four by four and five by five, which is the default for those wanting added customization options. The Android 12 developer preview adds another option for the good choices, four by five. Specifically, that means four spaces across and five spaces down. This is in fact the first non symmetrical option for the pixel launcher to date, offering a rectangular shape that may be a better fit for taller phones, and full screen usage.

Picture-in-Picture Mode:

The picture-in-picture mode experience is an add on the Android 12 developer preview. You can actually stash a picture in the picture window to the left or right side of your screen if you need or want to focus on another application, or indeed something like a web page. This even works for those of you out there without YouTube premium, at least in this particular developed preview build, meaning that you can listen to video content of music while doing other things. A single tap as well on the window shows playback controls like pause, play, skip and more. double tapping on the windows switches back and forth between a small window size and a larger one. Or if you’re looking for a more refined window size control, you can now use pinch to zoom to resize the window and move it around your screen.

Widgets UI Redesign:

We do hope that widgets will become a wider focus point within Android 12. But developer preview now organizes the Quick Access section somewhat better than it has done previously when you want to add a widget to your pixel home screen. The new page is far more compact with collapsible sections with a count for the number of widgets available from an application is a fairly minor change, but it does help tidy things up and help you select the right widget from the right app. 

Lock screen PIN and Pattern:

The pixel lock screen is also getting some attention in the developer preview too, with some fairly minor tweaks to the formula that we have become accustomed to. When using a pin. The line that separates the key part from the upper portion of the screen is no longer there, while the Enter key stops using a blue button in favor of a cleaner line icon. Instead, the emergency call pill is now a shade of blue and is now more prominent by being filled in if you use a unique pattern rather than a pin. The major change here is that the trail line is now much thicker, which might make it easier to decipher what path you’ve taken previously to enter your actual pattern. 

One Handed Mode:

The one handed mode is now live and fully usable in Android 12 under the gestures section of the pixel settings menu, Android 12 dP two ads the one handed mode option, which is triggered by swiping down on the very bottom of the display. This gesture though was turned off by default on several of our own test devices, so you may need to go and enable it if you want to try it out for yourself. 

Lighter Dark Theme:

Almost all of us guessed that Google had plans to tweak the dark theme in Android 12 but we can not call this a top feature. Many people often prefer an amulet dark theme, which can have many battery benefits. With this latest Android 12 update, Google has changed the color from pure black to a darker gray shade. 

We tried to collect all the details about Android 12 Preview 1 and Preview 2. Upcoming testing versions are Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3, Beta 4.

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