Today, the Android team released its first developer preview of Android 12, giving us a first look at what’s coming into the world of Android. While it̵
To be clear, this is an example developer and not something the average person would install on their everyday phone. And it is far from final, Android will take feedback, make changes and possibly even add more features or remove some features in this test. But developer previews are still a good look at what’s to come.
Gesture navigation, audio, images and notifications improvements
For the average user, the big items are centered around gesture navigation, audio, images, and notifications. Android 12 promises to simplify immersive mode so gesture navigation is easier and less likely to trigger accidentally. The Android team says it will work better in full-screen apps like games and videos, but details are pretty light.
Android 12 comes with a new Haptically linked audio effect. Developers can use that to adjust the vibration strength and frequencies derived from an audio session. The idea is to provide better “rumble” feedback in games, such as simulating rough terrain in a racing game. Or a developer can use custom vibrations in addition to custom ringtones to identify different callers.
Audio itself should see an improvement, thanks to support for MPEG-H playback, multi-channel audio (spatial audio), and optimized audio mixers, resamplers and effects.
Pictures should look better in Android 12, but not because of camera hardware. If you have the best camera hardware, the photos you get will still not look good if they are too compressed and cluttered with noise. Android 12 introduces support for the AV1 Image File Format (AVIF). AVIF is a container format for images, similar to JPEG. But if you rely on AV1 encoding, you will get much better picture quality than JPEG can produce.
Notifications are getting some much-needed improvements, especially in terms of speed. Android 12 promises to launch apps faster from a notification by preventing developers from using “trampolines” to initiate activities. Trampolines act as an intermediate broadcast receiver or service and are much slower than activating an activity directly.
In addition to speed, notifications get a UI update. Android 12 promises a ‘modern look’ that should also be ‘more user-friendly’. That includes changes to the tray, controls, and the templates developers use. Previously, fully custom notifications could cover the entire notification window, but that won’t be the case with Android 12. Instead, developers will follow a default template for a more consistent look across the board.
Thanks to new APs, Android 12 also makes it easier to paste media such as images, videos and other rich content from any source.
Android updates via Google Play
Behind the scenes, more of Android is getting its updates through Google Play rather than full system updates. That’s an ongoing process that’s been going on for years, with each new version seeing more of Android getting its updates through Google Play as individual components are pulled from the operating system. Android 12 adds an Android Runtime (ART) module, which allows Android to push updates to the core runtime and libraries on devices.
More devices, more form factors
Android 12 will see a big push for more devices and form factors. The Android team called on developers to optimize apps for tablets, foldable items and TV. And furthermore, it also called for more foldable apps. In addition to everything else, Android 12 for Android TV has hit preview today, so the developer scan is starting to work on apps for the TV experience. That includes testing apps on the new Google TV experience that debuted with the latest Chromecast.
As always, Android 12 also focuses on security and privacy through many behind-the-scenes changes. Developers will have to adopt new standards and methods, and they will have to test apps with the new security features.
If you are not an experienced developer, you probably shouldn’t download the Android 12 preview today. But if you are and you have a Pixel, check out the Android Developers site for more information.
Source: Android Developers