Google is expected to release its next major mobile OS update – Android 12 – in September 2021. While it’s unclear what features will be available in its final form, the company has released two of its three Android developer previews, with the third preview expected to arrive soon.
These previews have provided certain beta testers with an early look at some of the upcoming features. Recently XDA Developers was provided with an unreleased version of the upcoming OS by one of these testers.
Among the changes, the new update appears to offer an improved and seamless user interface. Notably, it boasts an “App Pairs” feature, which allows users to multi-task by switching between two applications when they double tap the centre of the screen. Other improvements also include a new over-scroll ripple animation, a drawer opening process, and a ripple effect when the charger is plugged in.
In addition, the preview version features a new volume panel that looks identical to the operating system’s bold brightness slider, with buttons that suit the active theme.
According to XDA developers, smartphones running Android 12 will also be able to take expanded screenshots. This means that when users take screenshots, the image will open in an expanded view of the page, enabling them to manually select a larger horizontal area they want to capture.
This could be useful for capturing an entire chat thread in a single image, instead of having to take multiple screenshots. Furthermore, the unreleased version offers quick tile controls, a search bar in the widget picker, and more emojis.
Below are screenshots of the unreleased Android 12 update as captured by XDA Developers. These are not the only new features which are expected to be available on Android 12.
Multiple other reports from Android Police and 9to5Google, among others, have shed further light on a number of new additions. Google’s official Android Developer website has also shared some details on possible features.
Wi-Fi password share – Since Android 10, users could connect to the same Wi-Fi by scanning a QR code on a connected device. With Android 12 users will be able to share Wi-Fi passwords using Nearby Share.
Emergency SOS – By quickly pressing the power button five times, users can quickly send an SOS to emergency services. Previously, this required holding the power button down, tapping the emergency button, and then tapping twice on the Call 911 button. This feature is will only be available in certain countries.
Google Assistant – The new update will provide users with two methods of launching the Assistant. The first is by holding the power button for a few seconds, while Pixel 5 users will also be able to invoke Assistant by double-tapping the back of their smartphone.
Face-based auto rotation – Autorotation will use the front-facing camera to detect a user’s face and prevent the display from rotating when the user is not upright.
Smart forwarding calls – User will now be able to forward calls between two SIM cards using the smart forwarding feature.
Choose sound or vibration for notifications – A new setting lets the system determine if a notification should make a sound or vibrate. Updated privacy – Symbols or dots will be shown in the corner of the screen if an app is accessing the camera or microphone. It should be emphasised that none of these features are final.
The first public beta for Android 12 will likely be unveiled at Google I/O 2021, which will take place from 18-20 May 2021. This is when Google will likely reveal the official features and launch date for Android 12.
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