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 than 3 billion active devices around the world.
Android 12 builds on everything you love about Android, and focuses on building a deeply personal phone that adapts to you, developing an operating system that is secure by default and private by design, and making all your devices work better together.
Today, we’re releasing the first beta of Android 12, and giving you a look into some of the features that will be available in future releases.
A more personal experience
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.
Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, you’ll be able to completely personalize your phone with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. Using what we call color extraction, you choose your wallpaper, and the system automatically determines which colors are dominant, which ones are complementary and which ones just look great. It then applies those colors across the entire OS: the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets and much more.
This work is being done in deep collaboration between our software, hardware and Material Design teams. We’re unifying our software and hardware ecosystems under a single design language called Material You.
Fluid motion and animations
From the moment you pick up an Android 12 device, you’ll feel how it comes alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone quickly responds to your touch with smooth motion and animations. For example, when you dismiss your notifications on the lock screen, your clock will appear larger so you know when you’re all caught up.
We've also simplified interactions and recrafted the entire underlying system to make your experience more fluid and efficient. Your Android devices are now faster and more responsive with better power efficiency so you can use your device for longer without a charge. This was achieved by some under-the-hood improvements including reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.
Redesigned system spaces
Some of the most important spaces on your phone — like your notification shade, quick settings and even the power button — have been purposefully reimagined to help you get things done.
The notification shade is more intuitive and playful, with a crisp, at-a-glance view of your app notifications, whatever you’re currently listening to or watching, and Quick Settings that let you control practically the entire operating system with a swipe and a tap. The Quick Settings space doesn’t just look and feel different. It’s been rebuilt to include Google Pay and Home Controls, while still allowing for customization so you can have everything you need most in one easy-to-access place.
To make sure you always have help from Google at your fingertips, you can now long press the power button to invoke Assistant to make a phone call, open apps, ask questions or read aloud text-heavy articles.
Private and secure by design
Android 12 includes new features that give you more transparency around which apps are accessing your data, and more controls so you can make informed choices about how much private information your apps can access.
The new Privacy Dashboard offers a single view into your permissions settings as well as what data is being accessed, how often and by which apps. It also lets you easily revoke app permissions right from the dashboard.
We’ve added a new indicator to the top right of your status bar so you know when your apps are accessing your microphone or camera. And if you want to remove app access to these sensors for the entire system, we’ve added two new toggles in Quick Settings.
We’re also giving you more control over how much information you share with apps. With new approximate location permissions, apps can be limited to seeing just your approximate location instead of a precise one. For example, weather apps don’t need your precise location to offer an accurate forecast.
Beyond these new privacy features in Android 12, we’re also building privacy protections directly into the OS. There are more opportunities than ever to use AI to create helpful new features, but these features need to be paired with powerful privacy. That’s why in this release we’re introducing Android Private Compute Core. It allows us to introduce new technologies that are private by design, allowing us to keep your personal information safe, private and local to your phone.
Private Compute Core enables features like Live Caption, Now Playing and Smart Reply. All the audio and language processing happens on-device, isolated from the network to preserve your privacy. Like the rest of Android, the protections in Private Compute Core are open source and fully inspectable and verifiable by the security community.
There are more features coming later this year, and we’ll continue to push the boundaries and find ways to maintain the highest standards of privacy, security and safety.
Try these features and more
Android 12 is packed with other useful experiences, like improved accessibility features for people with impaired vision, scrolling screenshots, conversation widgets that bring your favorite people to the home screen and ways for all your devices to work better together. We’re also delivering on our promise to make third-party app stores easier to use on Android 12. You can find many of these features today in Android 12 Beta, available on Pixel and other devices.