Android is the most popular smartphone operating system in the world, which runs on billions of smartphones. As a result, even the smallest changes to the OS have the potential to affect millions of users.
From the beginning, Android has always been about personalization and allowing you to select the device, service and experience that’s right for you. By providing an open ecosystem that gives you choice, Android has grown to more active devices around the world.
Android 12 builds on everything you love about Android and focuses on building a deeply personal phone that fits you, developing an operating system that is secure by default and private by design, and making all your devices work longer well together.
Android 12 includes the biggest design change in Android’s history. We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light and motion. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic and personal than ever before.
What is Android 12?
Android 12 is the latest release of Google’s mobile operating system, and it is seamlessly integrated with Google’s app ecosystem. That means, out of the box, Android pairs perfectly with the likes of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Photos and just about any of the apps offered within Google Workspaces, for business users.
Android 12 shows that mobile software has come a long way since its inception. What once started off as an upstart to challenge Apple’s iOS in the dawn of the modern smartphone, Android has since grown into its own. Lately, Google has abandoned the public dessert codenames — to the chagrin of many, myself included — and focused on making Android a more mature operating system. That’s very much in evidence in Android 12.
Android 12 is the mobile OS’s biggest update in 2021, and there are plenty of hidden features that you should know about. Sure, it brings a new adaptive design language that refreshes the software’s look down to the last pixel. And everything from the buttons to the sliders has a delightfully fresh appearance with bolder visuals and smoother animations.
Android 12 also ships with some new features. There are no knockout punches, but most of the new features added some quality of life improvements that we appreciate nonetheless. Here is a quick roundup of those Android 12 features.
Lock Screen Clock the first thing you’ll likely notice the first time you power up a phone running Android 12 is the new lock screen clock. With your phone clear of notifications a large digital clock takes up pride of place right in the center of the screen.
PIN code keys when you swipe to unlock the phone you’ll notice a fresh design for the PIN code keypad. The ‘buttons’ are round, large and minimal with pastel shades. These shades are governed by Material You.
Notifications have undergone something of a design overhaul too. The style of notification windows has changed, and they’re automatically grouped per app, or separated out if they’re not conversational. Also, there’s an easy new snooze control that you simply tap to snooze, rather than having to swipe on the notification. Then you can snooze specific notifications for a set amount of time.
Quick Settings tiles received a rather large overhaul as well. The smaller toggles are gone, replaced by larger, rounded rectangle buttons. These new tiles work like previous toggles where you tap to turn them on and off. There are also new tiles for camera and microphone access (more on that later), Google Pay, alerts, and smart home stuff. A few of the tiles work differently. For instance, the Internet tile always opens a prompt now and houses both mobile and Wi-Fi data information. By and large, it is just an aesthetic change. On the plus side, the larger tiles are much easier to read and house more information. Of course, that comes at the cost of space. Users who use toggles heavily will no doubt need multiple pages.
Enhanced screenshots take a screenshot and if the page is longer than you’ve captured, there’s the option to capture more. Yes, scroll capture is in Android 12. Head to the edit/markup function and you can now type text on to your screenshots in a number of different font colors. Plus you can stick some emojis on there if you want by pressing the little sticker icon. You can resize them easily too by just pinching to zoom. As a side note to that, you can now easily dismiss screenshot thumbnails by swiping them off the screen. Simple.
Microphone and camera indicators Android 12 also includes indicators for camera and microphone use. Basically, a little microphone or camera indicator appears in the top right corner of your phone screen whenever an app accesses one of those things. A green dot persists after the initial indicator goes away to let you know that an app is still using it. It’s a quick and easy way to tell the user when the microphone or camera is active. For added security, you can disable both the camera and microphone. Google added new toggles in the Quick Settings specifically for this purpose. You simply toggle one of them off to completely disable the camera or microphone. We tested it with the camera app and there is even a prompt that shows up if the camera permission is turned off.
Approximate location Google added the approximate location permission to Android 12. The approximate location permission gives apps a general idea of where you are, but not a definite location. It helps hide the user’s exact location from apps that don’t really need it. You should be able to choose which permission you want in any app that asks for location. An example of where this is useful is a weather app. Weather apps don’t need your exact street address to show you the local weather. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or at the local grocery store, the weather forecast is the same. There are many other examples, but the approximate location will dramatically reduce the number of apps that know where you are.
Privacy dashboard One of the major new official changes is the Privacy Dashboard. It’ll give you easy access to see what apps have accessed certain permissions. Whether that be your camera and mic or location. What’s more, when you first launch an app and it wants access to your location you can decide to have it only get access to an approximate location rather than precise. Android 12 has also added quick on/off toggles in the quick shade menu that disable the mic, location and camera so that nothing can access them. When the camera or mic is in use, a little green dot will appear at the top right of the screen. If you swipe down, you can see a full icon and tapping on that will tell you which app is capturing images or sound.
Customisation and theming Theming is a major part of the Android 12’s new feature list. In the customisation window you can choose to have the colors of your wallpaper determine the accent and background colors of the entire phone. It also allows you to toggle on a “themed icons” feature which transforms your app icons to color-matched ones as well – although this mostly only seems to work with Google apps. The system lets you choose a wallpaper and then take theme colors from the wallpaper or you can choose a “basic” complimentary colour instead. You’ll then find these themed colors beyond the home screen – it will be picked up in design elements across the phone, with some apps, like the calculator or dialler getting a color makeover to fit the theme.
Media Player interface One of the more prominent UI changes is the updated media control widget that appears in the drop-down menu you when you have music playing. Google has enlarged it, making it span almost the entire width of the screen and adjusted the layout so the controls are closer to the middle of the screen. It also takes up more space on the Lock Screen when active. Now, if you’re playing the music on your phone locally, you can tap the tiny little icon in the corner of the widget and this brings up a new playback location popup window. Here you can adjust the music volume or quickly pair a new device like a pair of earbuds of a Bluetooth speaker.
Nearby Share for Wifi passwords This is a potentially handy feature that lets you quickly share your WiFi network details with people in the same room as you. So while you could share your Wi-Fi using a QR code scanner before, if you look beneath that in Android 12 you now get the option that says ‘Nearby’. Tap on it, turn on Nearby sharing and then it’ll look for devices near you to share the details with.
Game Dashboard Android 12 feature for now, Game Dashboard aims to improve your gaming experience by overlaying some important tools and information, like the ability to record your gameplay, streaming your gaming session on YouTube, or displaying a live FPS counter so that you can get an idea of how your phone is performing. You can also select from one of the three different gaming profiles — Performance, Standard, and Battery Saver — depending on your requirements. However, this particular feature will only work with games that have been updated to take advantage of the new APIs in Android 12.
One-handed mode Taking a cue from third-party Android skins, Google has added a native one-handed mode in Android 12. As the name indicates, the feature makes it easy to use your phone with one hand — a boon for devices with large displays and gargantuan size. On your device, head over to Settings > System> Gestures. Tap on One-Handed mode and enable the toggle. Now, you can enable one-handed mode by simply swiping down from the bottom edge of the display. Do note that this feature only works when you are using gesture navigation on your device.
Quick Tap Taking a cue from the Back Tap gesture in iOS 14, Google has introduced a new Quick Tap feature in Android 12. With a simple double-tap on the back of your phone, you can launch an app of your choice, control media playback, take a screenshot, show recent apps, and trigger Google Assistant. The Quick Tap gesture is tucked under Settings > System > Gestures in Android 12. Now, depending on your preference, select an action that you want to assign to Quick Tap.
Clipboard Access Alerts Google has added a toast notification to notify you whenever an app accesses your clipboard. This feature is live with Android 12 beta 2, and developers are expected to minimize app reads from the clipboard. Apps should access the clipboard only when necessary.
List of devices suitable for Android 12 Operating System
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro Xiaomi Mi 11 (in the beta) Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G NE Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (in the beta) Xiaomi Mi 11I (in the beta) Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro (in the beta) Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite Poco F3 Poco F3 GT Poco X3 GT Poco X3 Pro Redmi K30 Redmi Note 10 5G Redmi Note 10 Pro Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Blackshark 3 Blackshark 3 Pro Blackshark 3S Blackshark 4 Blackshark 4 Pro Mi 10 Mi 10 Ultra Mi 10S Mi 10T Mi 10T Pro Mi 10T Lite Mi 11T Mi 11T Pro Poco F2 Pro Poco M2 Pro Poco M3 Poco X2 Poco X3 Redmi 9 Redmi 9 Power Redmi 9A Redmi 9C Redmi 9T Redmi K30 Pro Redmi K30S Ultra Redmi K40 Redmi K40 Pro / Pro+ Redmi Note 9 Redmi Note 9T Redmi Note 9 Pro Redmi Note 10 Redmi Note 10S Redmi Note 10T Mi 9 / Mi 9 SE / Mi 9 Lite Mi 9T / Mi 9T Pro Mi CC9 / CC9 Pro Mi Note 10 / Mi Note 10 Pro Redmi K20 / K20 Pro / Premium Redmi Note 8 / 8T / 8 Pro Redmi 9 / 9A / 9AT / 9i / 9C Redmi 9 Prime Poco C3 * Poco M2 * New launches …
Vivo X60 Vivo X60 Pro Vivo X60 Pro+ Vivo X70 Pro+ Vivo S1 (2022/apr) Vivo S1 Pro (2022/apr) Vivo V17 (2022/apr) Vivo V17 Pro (2022/apr) Vivo V20 (2022/jan) Vivo V20 2021 (2022/jan) Vivo V20 Pro (2022/mar) Vivo V20 SE (2022/mar) Vivo V21 (2021/dec) Vivo V21e (2022/jan) Vivo X50 (2022/mar) X50 Pro (2022/mar) Vivo X70 Pro (2022/jan) Vivo Y12s (2022/mar) Vivo Y19 (2022/apr) Vivo Y20 (2022/apr) Vivo Y20G (2022/mar) Vivo Y20i (2022/apr) Vivo Y21 (2022/jan) Vivo Y30 (2022/apr) Vivo Y31 (2022/jan) Vivo Y33s (2022/mar) Vivo Y51 (2022/apr) Vivo Y51A (2022/jan) Vivo Y53s (2022/mar) Vivo Y72 5G (2021/dec) Vivo Y73 (2022/apr) New launches …
OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Pro OnePlus 8T OnePlus 9 OnePlus 9 Pro OnePlus 9R OnePlus Nord OnePlus Nord 2 OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite OnePlus 7 OnePlus 7 Pro OnePlus 7T OnePlus 7T Pro OnePlus 9 Lite OnePlus Nord CE OnePlus Nord N200 New launches …
LG Velvet 5G (confirmed to receive Android 13) LG V60 (in the US) LG G8 LG Q31 LG Q52 LG Q92 LG Q92 5G LG V50 LG V50S LG Velvet LTE/4G (confirmed to receive Android 13) LG Wing (confirmed to receive Android 13) New launches …
Asus ROG Phone 5 Asus ROG Phone 5s Asus ZenFone 8 Asus ZenFone 8 Flip Asus ZenFone 7 Asus ZenFone 7 Pro Asus ROG Phone 3 (2022H1) New launches …
Android 12 overview
Android 12 rethinks the entire user interface, from shapes, light and motion, to customizable system colors that can be adapted to match you.
An all-new conversation widget puts the conversations with the people you care about front-and-center on your home screen so you never miss a chat from your loved ones.
The UI feels alive with every tap, swipe and scroll – responding quickly and expressively with smooth motion and animations.
Privacy Dashboard lets you see what apps accessed your location, camera, or mic and manage their permissions.
Indicators let you know when an app is using your microphone or camera .
Approximate location permissions lets apps see just your approximate location instead of a precise one.
Scrolling screenshot with Android 12 allows you to capture all the content on the page in one image.
Transfer all your essentials easier than ever by connecting your old phone to your new Android with a cable or shared WiFi connection.
Take advantage of play as you download, so you can jump straight into gameplay without needing to wait for the full download to finish.
Android 12 Advantages
Android 12 offers improved gaming API optimization, It makes icons large for one-handed use, It supports next-level animation fluidity, It supports Redesigning all UI elements, It offers better customization features, It presents improve privacy and security features
Redesigned all UI elements.
Better customization features.
Improve privacy and security features.
Improved gaming API optimization.
Make icons large for one-handed use.
Next level animation fluidity.
Latest Update Samsung One UI version 4.1.1
Samsung has the tradition of launching a major new version of One UI that accompanies each year’s newest Android release. Before that, however, the company releases a couple of minor One UI upgrades along with each of its flagship smartphone launches.
In 2022, the Galaxy S22 series brought with it One UI 4.1, and in the second half of the year, Samsung is expected to release One UI 4.1.1 with its new foldables, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4. One UI 4.1.1 is likely to be exclusive to the company’s foldables, including the ones that launched in 2021 and before.
One UI 4.1.1 features
At this time, there’s no word on what new features One UI 4.1.1 will bring. However, there’s a good chance all the new functionality will be targeted at Samsung’s foldables to help users take better advantage of the foldable form factor.
There could also be some minor features that are compatible with all Galaxy phones and tablets, although like we saw last year with One UI 3.1.1, Samsung will probably bring these features to non-foldable devices without bumping up the One UI version number on them.
One UI 4.1.1 release
One UI 4.1.1 will debut with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 later in the second half of 2022, as mentioned earlier, and it will then be released to other compatible foldables and non-foldable Galaxy devices in the weeks that follow.
However, with One UI 5.0 coming soon after with the Android 13 update, most Galaxy devices will likely make the jump directly to version 5.0 instead of 4.1.1. More details should follow soon as we move closer to the launch of the new foldables.
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