Google is expected to release the next major update for Android, Android 12, next week, but ahead of its release we are already hearing Google’s plans for a follow-up update. Earlier this month, XDA first announced that Google plans to release an interim update before 2022 to Android 13, which we are tentatively calling Android 12.1 according to Google’s naming convention for previous versions. Take a first look at some of the new features. Android 12 preview.
If you haven’t followed our coverage, you might be wondering how we know an Android 12.1 update is coming. Our first suggestion came from code changes submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit, which increased the API level for Android 13 from 32 to 33. For reference, the corresponding API level for Android 12 is 31. , so if Android 13 matches API level 33, it means API level 32 needs to meet an interim release. Comments from the Google suggest that the draft version is codenamed “scv2”, which we believe is short for “Snow Cone v2”. Snow Cone, by the way, is the supposed dessert name of Android 12, a convention that Google publicly abandoned a few years ago but its engineers still follow internally. Therefore, we started calling the next draft Android 12.1, but it might end up being marketed like something else.
The next thing you might be wondering is why an exit point is needed, given that Google hasn’t released one since Android 8.1 Oreo in 2017. While we don’t have a full picture yet, we do have one. saw evidence that Google adds. new APIs and features to improve the foldable phone experience. It’s possible that Google is planning to release its next pixel fold device soon with this new version of the operating system and all the new foldable features it contains, so we just couldn’t wait for the release of Android 13 on it. next year as that would delay the release of the phone. Since Android 12 has already reached platform stability last month, any new APIs that need to be added must wait for the next version, which would otherwise be Android 13. Android 12 version history The history of the Android 12 previewer. The operating system reached platform stability with beta 4 in August, so the new APIs should be included in the next release.
We don’t know when Google plans to launch the Pixel Fold, or when Google plans to release Android 12. We think the two will go hand in hand, but we’re not sure. What we do know is that the update is still under development, so all the features we show below are subject to change. If that happens, we’ll provide updates on what we find out. New features in Android 12. Double pane, Settings and lock screen Taskbar New split screen and recent app user interface Open a notification in a split screen window Open dynamic colors, new startup animation Press and hold the power button New wallpaper Dual-pane notification panel, Settings and lock screen By scanning early versions of Android 12, we learned that Google is adding a dual pane layout in the app launcher and notification panel, as well as a screen-size lock screen. At the time, we thought these UI changes were aimed at tablets, but Google didn’t mention the tablet changes in any of its blog posts or developer documentation. the changes are part of a larger effort to improve the appearance of Android on large foldable phones. Here’s a new look at the upcoming dual-pane user interface for the notification panel, as well as a first look at the Dual-pane Settings app and the device’s screen is big enough, quick settings and the panel.
notification can be viewed simultaneously on Android. 12.1, with quick settings in the left half and notifications in the right half. Conversely, large screen devices running Android 12 can only display the Quick Settings panel when the status bar is fully expanded. Android 12 doesn’t efficiently use the extra screen space offered by foldable devices, but Android 12.1 will. We also learned that Android 12.1 will show a 3 column quick settings panel when the screen density exceeds a certain value, but we were unable to make this UI change in the version we have access.
The lock screen, meanwhile, is also split in half, with clock and date information on the left and notifications on the right. The lock icon is still centered but is now much larger. The icon may take a bit of work, as the icon color is currently colliding with the white background. However, this user interface is probably still under development. Dual panel lock screen user interface in Android 12. Finally, as mentioned above, the lock screen PIN / password element moves to the side to make it easier to unlock the device. with one hand. user touched to close the lock screen, but it can be moved to the other side by tapping anywhere on the other half of the screen.
Perhaps the most important feature Google is adding to Android 12.1 to improve the foldable phone experience is the taskbar. We got a glimpse of this functionality in an early version of Android 12, but Google has since refined the functionality of the taskbar in its internal code branches.The taskbar is built into Android’s existing multitasking and split-screen capabilities and looks quite similar to what you’ll find in many desktop operating systems. You can use the taskbar to quickly switch between apps, drag and drop an app to launch it in split-screen mode, and long-press the taskbar to hide it. Once activated, the taskbar and launcher app dock become the same, with the taskbar moving smoothly in the dock whenever the user exits an app. They can currently be added to the dock / taskbar, although this is subject to change in the future.
App Pairs, a feature that will let you create a pair of apps to launch simultaneously in split screen, has made progress since we last saw it in Android 12. We haven’t been able to add a pair yet. applications. on the main screen, but I think the feature will work fully before Android 12.1 reaches stable state. We were able to get one of the promised features to work, which was the ability to double-tap the split screen divider to swap the positions of each app. We also got to see the two split-screen apps showing up as activity in the recent apps overview, but couldn’t find a way to lock the pair down. Speaking of the recent app layout, Google made a subtle layout change in Android 12. Cards are no longer uniform in size; instead, the newer one has been enlarged, while the others have been reduced and laid out in a 2-row grid. Under the most recent tab, there is also a new “split” button which launches split screen mode; Previously, you had to long-press an app icon in recent apps preview to switch to split screen mode.