[Update: Mar. 04] Android 12 update tracker: Here’s the current status
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on October 13, 2020) follows:
Android 11 was unveiled back in September and as expected, Google’s own devices already run this new version of Android.
Other Android phonemakers are working on their respective Android 11 skins and you can check out our dedicated tracker for most popular OEMs here.
Even then, it looks like Google is already looking ahead, planning things to do with the next version of Android, Android 12.
Since new Android versions are often unveiled every September-October, Android 12 is still a whole year away so whatever we know now has got to be taken with a grain of salt.
So what do we know about Android 12 so far? Well, we know that Google will call it Android 12 if recently published material is anything to go by.
In a blog post published on Android Developers’ forum titled ‘Listening to Developer Feedback to Improve Google Play’, the company makes mention of the next version of Android.
some developers have given us feedback on how we can make the user experience for installing another app store on their device even better. In response to that feedback, we will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices…
In the same publication, Google goes to explain how it plans to make Android 12 a lot more open by building tools that will make it easier for third-party app stores to work well.
Some other features and improvements rumored to be coming in Android 12 include scroll shot feature, better cloud backups, more restrictions to background app killing, more refinement to the gesture navigation, and improved third party launcher support.
More info on everything we know about Android 12 will be added below so stay tuned.
Update 1 (February 19)
Android 12 is set to support the Incremental File System. Incremental FS is a ‘special-purpose Linux virtual file system that allows execution of a program while its binary and resource files are still being lazily downloaded over the network, USB etc’.
More on that here.
Update 2 (May 5)
Vivo has announced that the iQOO 3 will get updated to both Android 11 and Android 12. The device will also get regular security patches and OTA support for 3 years. More on this here.
Update 3 (May 18)
The Narzo 10 might very well be in line for an update to the next version of Android. More on that here.
Update 4 (September 26)
While the Poco X3 is set to get updated to Android 11, the fate of the device with regards to Android 12 is still unclear. More on that here.
Update 5 (November 26)
07:00 pm (IST): It seems that Android 12 might finally make system updates easier. A Google engineer has revealed that the company plans to make the Android Runtime (ART) an updatable Mainline module in Android S/Android 12.
This means that Google would have total control over the ART module and would be able to release updates to all devices without involving the OEM. Therefore, updates could be rolled out through the Google Play Store instead of OTA updates according to a report.
Update 6 (January 12)
10:15 am (IST): The folks over at XDA have spotted a couple of code changes submitted to AOSP by which it appears that Google is working on an app hibernation feature for Android 12.
It’s a “System service that manages app hibernation state, a state apps can enter that means they are not being actively used and can be optimized for storage.”
Update 7 (January 20)
For starters, users would be able to share Wi-Fi passwords via the Nearby Share function. Further, a new restricted networking mode feature will make its way to Android users with the upcoming Android version.
It is a new firewall chain, with a set of rules that the Linux iptables utility follows to allow or block network traffic. However, this permission will only be granted to system apps or apps signed by the OEM.
Update 8 (January 21)
10:15 am (IST): New details continue to flow in surrounding Android 12. As per a report, Android 12 will let users create ‘App Pairs’ for seamless multitasking. The feature allows for two apps to be paired as one task.
Essentially, this allows users to switch applications without losing the two apps paired in split-screen mode. Google is also reportedly working on enhancing the game controller rumble with Android 12. At present, the APIs for the vibration of external devices are not up to the mark.
Update 9 (January 23)
10:55 am (IST): A fresh report from 9to5Google suggests that Google might bring back the double tap gesture for the Pixels with Android 12. The gesture — codenamed “Columbus” — was first discovered in the Android 11 Developer Preview but didn’t show up in the stable release.
With the double tap gesture, users would be able to trigger a handful of actions on their devices such as:
– Activate the Google Assistant
– Take a screenshot
– Pause/resume media playback
– Open the notification shade
– Open the recent apps view
Update 10 (January 27)
11:50 am (IST): New code in the Android source code suggests that it will be possible to update the system fonts and emojis on Android 12 without a system upgrade. More details on changes that would make this possible can be found here.
Update 11 (January 28)
10:05 am (IST): It appears Android 12 will offer native system theming that will allow users to select a primary color and an accent color which would be applied system-wide, where supported.
The best part is that the colors your pick would also be available in third-party applications if the app developers choose to enable the feature. Further, the color could also be selected automatically based on the colors of the current wallpaper report.
Update 12 (February 06)
01:08 am (IST): Google, with Android 10, introduced the Android Beta Feedback app that helped users report bugs without having to visit the bug tracker website.
And whilst that app has been dormant for a while, it has now bagged a fresh update bumping its version up from 2.11 to 2.15. This indicates that the Android 12 development has commenced and preview builds should launch soon. More info here.
Update 13 (February 09)
10:50 am (IST): There is a fresh rumor doing rounds about how Android 12 is going to look. The folks at XDA managed to get their hands on a purported draft of a document made by Google themselves.
In it, we see some really radical design changes. The UI is much more rounded and modern looking. Further, if real, these screenshots may be the very first look at Android 12’s theming capabilities we discussed above.
This is because, as clear from the above screenies, the wallpaper and the interface backgrounds have matching colors.
All this was much needed in the light of recent custom Android skin releases like One UI 3.0 and MIUI 12.5 that look more modern than ever and have left stock Android in desperate need of design updates.
Update 14 (February 10)
06:50 pm (IST): Following the recent developments around Android 12, we are running a poll asking you how much you like the new color-changing UI and other alleged changes included in the OS. Details here.
Update 15 (February 13)
03:21 pm (IST): As the time for the first developer preview release nears, fresh details keep emerging about the latest iteration of Android.
The update is expected to bring a dramatic UI refresh, widget changes, enhanced privacy features, scrolling screenshot support, a sophisticated theming system, and much more. For details, head here.
Update 16 (February 16)
08:21 am (IST): As we get closer to the release of Android 12 Developer Preview 1, news and leaks of what to expect keep surfacing. Among the latest is the addition of one-handed mode support, finally.
This feature is already supported by other Android vendors but it has been missing on Google Pixels. This is about to end with Android 12, at least according to XDA Developers.
09:31 am (IST): The update to Android 11 enabled the ability to resize PiP windows, but if you have tried using the feature, you’ll know how half-baked it is.
Now, the same guys at XDA have established that Google has plans to improve PiP in Android 12 by adding new methods to easily discover and trigger the feature, among them pinch-to-resize, double tap, and “stashing” to temporarily hide it.
Even better is that the troubled bubble notifications that came with Android 11 might be in for a treat with new animations.
10:21 am (IST): Google is reportedly looking to take Material Design to the NEXT level with Android 12. In what is being touted as “Material NEXT” design, users can expect plenty of UI changes.
Some of these changes include a new AoD and lock screen layout, a thicker brightness slider, smaller horizontal margins and padding, and probably even shifting the Quick Settings tile labels to the side.
11:50 am (IST): In yet another development, Android 12 is said to come with support for smarter auto-rotation, a native gaming mode to imitate the many we see from third-party vendors, and a feature to reduce bright colors.
But perhaps the most important development from the recent past is the dessert name of Android 12. Apparently, the OS could pick up the Snow Cone dessert name.
This should match with Android S, picking up from Red Velvet Cake dessert name for Android 11. See the full story here.
Update 17 (February 17)
11:37 am (IST): According to a report by 9to5Google, Android 12 will introduce face-based auto-rotate on Google Pixel devices.
The publication notes that the feature will use the selfie shooter to analyze face orientation and thus rotate content accordingly. The entire process will be local, meaning no images are retained anywhere.
Update 18 (February 19)
11:23 am (IST): Google has announced the first developer preview version of Android 12, but as always, this version is still limited to app developers. Here’s the list of eligible Google Pixel devices.
Below is the rollout schedule, at least for Pixel devices.
Now that the actual OS is here, we can finally put the rumors and speculations behind us. And what better way than to dive right into the new features and improvements that Android 12 packs?
Notifications & Quick settings
Android 12 has a new translucent background with a lighter overlay taking over from the transparent space that separates conversations, app notifications and silent notifications in Android 11.
There are also some tweaks in the Quick settings menu, where light blue color replaces gray for inactive tiles. Android 12 also removes location toggle from the first card of Quick settings tiles.
Also, DND and Battery Saver toggles now appear on the first card and mobile data toggle has been moved to the second card.
As rumored earlier, the update also adds the option to “Reduce Bight Colors”, an accessibility feature meant to reduce screen brightness, although it doesn’t remove the usual one.
With Android 12, Google has also revamped the Accessibility settings menu, making it easy to access primary options on the main page. The likes of Font and Display Size now appear in categories.
New accent color
Android 12 adds a blue-like tint to the light and dark themes in Android 11. At this point, though, the color-changing UI that leaked a while back is still a doubt.
The new color accent persists in system apps and even in dialog boxes, which is pretty cool.
Just as the rumors had hinted, PiP in Android 12 is getting a facelift, where users can now pinch to zoom in and out of PiP windows. The new OS also lets users “stash” the PiP window on one edge of the display panel.
New lock screen background
Google has reworked the lock screen with the addition of a translucent background layer and bouncier animation when unlocking the phone using a pattern.
One handed mode
Finally, AOSP has one handed mode. In order to make using the big-screen phones of today easier, Samsung and OnePlus added one handed mode to their skins a while back, meaning Google is playing catchup.
With Android 12, the UI features large empty spaces at the top of the screen thus pushing whatever you want to access towards the bottom end, easily reachable with your thumb.
Here's Android 12's one-handed mode – fully working. Sadly, it's like Apple's Reachability (vertically downsizing) rather than OHM on most OEM software (both horizontal and vertical downsizing). pic.twitter.com/IznRVHTgPu
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 18, 2021
Apparently, Android 12 has a feature (still only a flag for now) known as “Silky Home” meant to push page items further down for easier access when enabled.
Another feature that has been here for quite some time but is only coming to AOSP courtesy of Android 12 is support for scrolling screenshots.
For now, the feature is still hidden, but it should be unlocked in future updates.
Google has added a new button for snoozing unimportant notifications, possibly doing away with the previous option of half-swiping the notification to either side to reveal the snooze button.
To enable the new notifications snooze button, go to Settings > Apps and notifications > Notifications > Allow notification snoozing.
Picking up from where Android 11 left, the new OS adds more refined media controls, with the player taking up more space thanks to the bigger media artwork.
Android 12 also lets users select the apps that appear in the media controls by heading to Settings > Sound and vibration > Media.
Android has always one-upped Apple when it comes to widgets, but tables recently turned with the introduction of dynamic widgets in iOS 14. Google aims to take back its crown with the update to Android 12.
The new OS tags along what looks like widget stacks, allowing users to scroll left/right on similar widgets. But like scrolling screenshots, this feature is still hidden.
Still on screenshots, the markup menu after the update to Android 12 now lets users add emojis in addition to notes and/or doodles. Furthermore, editing and/or annotating images is now possible in the Share Sheet.
Nearby Share for Wi-Fi passwords
Android Q enabled the ability to connect to the same Wi-Fi by simply scanning a QR code. With Android 12, Google is now making it possible to share Wi-Fi passwords via Nearby Share.
Redirect haptic feedback to Gaming Controllers
Instead of adding an actual Game Mode, Google has included a rather minor but still cool feature that lets gamers send their phone’s haptic feedback to gaming controllers (gamepad).
Privacy & security
A new Android OS update won’t be one unless there is talk of improved privacy and security. This is the same case with Android 12, where Google is set to add visual indicators to alert users when system apps such as camera or microphone are in use.
The new OS is also adding other privacy and security features such as permissions dialog, a new Emergency SOS feature is activated upon pressing power button five times.
Even better is that Android 12 users will be able to add a custom SOS helpline number alongside the usual 911 or 112 as well as set off an alarm to easily let first responders easily spot you.
For a detailed coverage of the new Android 12 features and all the visual elements included in the OS, head over to this XDA article.
06:39 pm (IST): More features are being spotted in Android 12. According to Android Police, it’s now possible to hide the camera cutout on the Google Pixel 4a, 4a 5G and Pixel 5.
The feature can be accessed by heading to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options > Display cutout, but you need to enable Developer options.
The same guys at Android Police also came across the option to enable a grid size of 4 by 5 icons in the Pixel Launcher.
Update 19 (February 20)
11:23 am (IST): Based on the recent leaks, it seems that the Android 12 update is turning out to be a pretty major one with a bunch of changes comprising of UI tweaks and under-the-hood improvements.
Firstly, there is the theming system in action that has been discussed so much recently. This implementation tints app backgrounds and the quick settings panel according to a dominant color from the wallpaper.
Secondly, the one-handed mode discussed earlier has now made an appearance as well. Toggling the mode on will essentially shrink the viewing area vertically thus making single-handed operability far more convenient. A great addition considering how tall phones have grown recently with up to 21:9 aspect ratios.
Speaking of one-handed usage, Google has finally incorporated One UI style section headers with a new feature flag called “silky home”. Enabling will result in the action bar occupying a huge section at the top of the display, thus pushing elements down for easier reachability.
To know more, along with a video of the feature in action, check this out.
Lastly, we are all too familiar with how disastrous the back gesture can be when trying to access navigation drawers. Google tried to do away with them on some apps too like Google Maps but it has now become clear that they are here to stay.
Nonetheless, Google is finally doing something for this major hindrance and it involves the clever usage of machine learning. It will be used to intelligently predict when the user intends to use the back gesture.
For details, head here and as for the full gallery of images showing the new theming system, see images below.
03:10 pm (IST): Check out a list of all the devices from OnePlus that will be eligible for the Android 12 update and other details by heading here.
Update 20 (February 22)
05:58 pm (IST): In case you’re wondering if your Samsung device is eligible for the Android 12 update, you can head here to check out the list of eligible devices from Samsung as well as other details regarding the upcoming Android version.
Update 21 (February 23)
12:07 pm (IST): Reports coming in can confirm that Android 12 developer preview 1 enables Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, a feature that was previously limited to 4G networks.
04:40 pm (IST): New features have been discovered in Android 12 DP1. Folks at 9to5Google can confirm that the Pixel 5 now supports the double tap on the back gesture, but it’s not active yet.
The gesture will be used to trigger one of several actions namely:
– Open Assistant
– Take screenshot
– Play and pause media
– See recent apps
– Open notifications
Below is a screenshot of the feature.
The same 9to5Google also reports that
06:09 pm (IST): Android 12 also comes with support for new audio-coupled haptics and if you want to see the feature in action, XDA has all the details here. Below is one of the videos shared by the publication.
The publication has also dived deeper into the previously highlighted App Pairs feature now that the OS is here, but of course, it is incomplete at this stage.
Further deeper into the first developer preview version also lies a hidden Gaming Toolbar that floats on your screen, XDA has determined. Like other hidden features, though, this one is still in its early stages.
The previously leaked Conversation widget is also present in the first Android 12 build and if you’d like to see it in action, the guys at XDA also have you covered. Below is a screenshot of the widget.
Update 22 (February 24)
02:47 pm (IST): We’ve now come up with a list of devices from Realme that may be eligible for the Realme UI 3.0 update based on Android 12 that should be available later this year. Head here to check out the list and other details.
Update 23 (February 25)
03:12 pm (IST): According to XDA, Google Pixel 3 and above may gain support for custom lock screen clocks with the update to Android 12. See details here.
Update 24 (March 04)
11:26 am (IST): Google has released a new version of Android 12 developer preview 1.1, the first incremental update. Below is a list of the bugs Google has fixed:
– Fixed an issue where on some devices, the device intermittently disconnected from Wi-Fi even when the Wi-Fi signal was strong.
– Fixed an issue where on some devices, the device displayed a “System UI keeps stopping” message if the user tried to take a screenshot by pressing Power + Volume Down from the Lock screen.
– Fixed an issue with partial wake locks that could cause excessive battery drain.
– Fixed an issue where a device’s fingerprint reader could become unresponsive when the device was suspended, requiring the user to unlock their device using another method.
– Fixed an issue where the Settings app could crash if the user tried to access app notification settings.
– Fixed an issue where the system UI could freeze after the user updated the device.
– Fixed an issue where the CellBroadcastReceiver app could not obtain the android.permission.BROADCAST_CLOSE_SYSTEM_DIALOGS permission, causing emergency alerts to crash.
– Fixed an issue that could cause some devices to reboot intermittently.
– Fixed an issue that could cause some devices to reboot after the user unlocked the device using their PIN.
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