We now have a better idea of what to expectafter Google revealed the update during the opening speech of . 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 .
There are tons of shiny new features in Android 12 that we can’t wait to start testing. For example, there is onewhich 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, 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.
New tools to monitor your privacy
Google really hasin 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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. And, if you insist, here’s how you can .