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Home / Tips and Tricks / Android 12’s first public beta is live. Here are 6 features we think you’ll love

Android 12’s first public beta is live. Here are 6 features we think you’ll love

Android 12 logo

Android 12 has a lot of tricks, including an all-new design.

James Martin / CNET

We now have a better idea of ​​what to expect Android 1

2 after Google revealed the update during the opening speech of Google I / O. Google has even released Android 12’s first public beta for those who have a compatible phone and are brave enough to take the plunge. Here is how to install it now.

There are tons of shiny new features in Android 12 that we can’t wait to start testing. For example, there is one new privacy dashboard which allows you to see which apps have access to your personal information and how often. Notifications and the quick settings panel also have a new look which is a welcome change, and Pixel owners will be the first to test a new custom color feature that uses your background color to change the system colors of your entire phone . It looks a lot of fun to use.

These features are in addition to those we already knew from the developer beta. YOU can install Android 12 now, if you have one of the phones for which it is available. Keep in mind that beta previews are full of bugs and random issues, so if you decide to take the plunge, be ready to live with some annoyances. Below are six features we can’t wait to use, and you’re sure to love them too.

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New tools to monitor your privacy

Google really has privacy efforts have been stepped up in Android 12. There is a new Privacy Dashboard that makes it easy to quickly see which apps have access to which private data and how often. You can then revoke access if you notice an app doing something you don’t want.

When viewing the dashboard, you can tap a setting – location, for example – and then view a timeline that shows when an app checked your location, for how long, and whether it was done in the background.

A new indicator has been added to the top menu bar to show when an app has access to your camera or microphone, and when you see it, you can swipe down from the top of the screen to view your quick settings panel and disable access immediately.

1-android-12-keyword header

Android 12 has been completely redesigned with a new look.


Custom color themes for Pixel phones

If you have a Pixel phone, you’ll be among the first to access Android 12’s new color palette feature and redesigned widgets. That means that when you set a new background image, Android will choose the dominant colors and adjust the rest of your phone’s system colors.

The colors are used in the notification shade, lock screen, volume control and redesigned widgets. This should be fun to mess around with once it’s available.

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A new double tap gesture to get things done

Apple’s iPhone has a cool feature that allows you to tap the back of the phone a certain number of times to trigger an action of your choice. It looks like Google is going to take that idea by adding a new double-tap gesture.

At my Pixel 5, I went to Settings > System > Gestures > Double tap and turned on the new function. Once it is enabled, you will see a list of actions you can trigger. The list currently consists of taking a screenshot, playing and pausing media, seeing recent apps, opening the notification shade, and launching Google Assistant.

That said, I was unable to successfully activate the gesture in any of the early previews. Obviously, it’s a feature coming to Android 12, but it doesn’t seem to be fully integrated yet.

Another sign that Google’s work isn’t finished here: the animation playing at the top of the screen shows the person pressing the power button twice instead of tapping the phone.

S21 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Phones like the Galaxy Note 20 will benefit from one-handed mode when Samsung releases Android 12 on its phones.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

Large screens on phones are easier to use with one hand

For a few years now, the accessibility of the iPhone has made it easier to operate a phone with a large screen with one hand. And now in Android 12 there is a new one-handed mode feature that does the same. Enable it by going to Settings > System > Gestures > One-handed mode and slide the switch to the To position.

To use it, swipe down on the bar at the bottom of your phone’s screen. Doing this will pull the interface to the center of your screen so that whatever is at the top of your screen is within reach.

android-12 notifications

Interface changes are coming.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

A minor change in how notifications look

This is a minor change and will certainly be expanded in future updates. The notification panel has a new look that is very subtle. When using the light theme, the notification shade is blue and the app icons are more pronounced. It gives a glimpse of the new approach to the interface that we expect more in future releases.

android-12 media controls

Media control is no longer a matter of every app.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Media apps don’t all have to take control

Rather than letting any app that plays audio or video use the media control panel with quick settings, Android 12 adds the option to disable individual apps. For example, if you want to be able to control Spotify playback in the quick settings panel, but you don’t really want YouTube to take up space, you can turn this off for YouTube.

Open Settings > Sound and vibration > Media and disable any apps you want to ban.

There is more to come …

No doubt there is more to find and explore in Android 12, but we don’t have enough time with the first public beta to dive right in. While we do that, we will be sure to update this post. There’s a lot to rave about and we can’t wait to check it all out. Until then, bookmark this page and check back often. In the meantime, take care of it check out our favorite Android 11 features. And, if you insist, here’s how you can install Android 12 public beta now.

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