Google I/O 2021 (Google I/O) kicks off today. After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the 2021 Google I/O is back online and free to everyone. Google has announced the official arrival of Android 12, and the beta version is now available for downloading for specific devices such as Google Pixel and Xiaomi.
Android 12 is also the biggest design change in Android’s history. By introducing a new design language, Material You, users will be able to fully personalize their phones with custom color palettes and redesigned gadgets. With color extraction, users can select their own wallpaper, and the system will automatically determine which colors are dominant, which are complementary, and which just look good. These colors can then be applied to the entire operating system, including notification bars, lock screens, volume controls, new gadgets, and more.
Material You will first appear on Google Pixel this fall, and in the future it will be available for all of Google’s products, from web applications to hardware, including smartphones, tablets, wearables, smart displays, IoT projects, smart home devices, and more.
Android 12 also simplifies interaction and redesigns the entire underlying system to improve system fluency and efficiency — Android devices will become smoother, more responsive, and more power-efficient. Google claims that this was achieved through some underlying improvements, including a 22% reduction in CPU time required for core system services and a 15% reduction in the use of large cores by system servers.
In addition, the notifications bar will become more intuitive and fun, allowing users to see app notifications at a glance, including anything they’re currently listening to or watching. It also supports quick Settings, allowing users to control almost any operating system with a swipe and click. More than just a different look and feel, Quick Settings Space has been redesigned, including Google Pay and Home Controls, while still allowing customization.
Android 12 also has a change in keyboard shortcuts that allow users to hold down the power button to call an assistant to make phone calls, open apps, ask questions or read a text-heavy article aloud.
Android 12 offers further security and privacy enhancements, ensuring that users have more knowledge and more restrictions on which apps are accessing their data. The latest privacy dashboard provides a single view of your permissions Settings, as well as what data is being accessed, how often and which apps are accessed. Users can also easily revoke permissions for applications on the dashboard.
Google adds a new indicator to the top right of the status bar so users can know when an application accesses the device’s microphone or camera. If you want to remove application access to these sensors throughout the system, you can find two new toggle keys in Quick Settings.
In addition, users have increased control over the amount of information they share. With the new approximate location permission, applications can be restricted to seeing only the approximate location of the user, rather than the exact location. For example, a weather application does not need an exact location to provide accurate predictions.
In Android 12, Google introduces the Android private computing core to enhance the security and privacy of protecting users’ personal information. The private computing core implements functions such as real-time captioning, present play and intelligent reply. All audio and language processing takes place on the device, isolated from the network to protect your privacy. As with the rest of the Android system, the protections in the private computing core are open source and can be checked and verified by the security community.
What’s interesting is that with Android 12, you can control your car. Google said it is working with automakers to develop a new digital car key for Android 12 that will allow users to lock, unlock and even start a car from their phone.
Supports of the Android 12 Beta launch include Asus, Pixel, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Transsion, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.