Android 12 Review: Top features + what's new in Android for 2022!
It brings the most sweeping visual overhaul weve seen in more than seven years, while improving your phones, privacy and bringing useful new features across the board. Todays stable, android 12 launch is just the very beginning of a brand new chapter for android, especially in terms of design. So what pixel owners are getting today really is a taste of the future, take a sec to subscribe to android central on youtube. So you dont miss more videos like this one and well jump into whats new in our full review of android 12. Music. You cant talk about android 12 without talking material you. This is googles, new design, language and the latest iteration of material design, which we first saw way back in 2014. Material design has been changing and evolving ever since then, but material. U represents a very clear version. 2.0 of the google design language, if holo in android 4 was the first great big android design, revolution and material design in android 5 was the second. Then this right here is the third material. U is more colorful with a selection of accent. Colors pulled from the material palette to complement your home screen background, its a great way to make the most personal computer you own, even more personal to you, with a choice of subtle or punchy accent colors to match the feel of your background. Android 12 can also apply this theming to certain app icons on your home screen as well as the ever present google search bar material.
U is also curvier and chunkier with wide rounded corners, in contrast to the sharp edges and drop shadows that we saw in earlier. Iterations of material design, widgets corners are now rounded in keeping with the rest of the ui the bits of the interface. The r lines are now thicker like the clock, hands in the clock, widget the volume and brightness sliders, and the pattern lock, theres, a new bouncy, stretchy, overflow animation for lists and other surfaces too, which feels much more organic. There are plenty of delightful new animated flourishes, too, for when youre, locking or unlocking your phone or launching an app from a widget google sans is now the main ui font on pixel phones, largely replacing the roboto font thats been with us since 2011.. Roboto is still there in places, especially in third party apps, but pretty much every text label in a system app or google app now uses the google font, which has a bit more personality to it. Bigger bolder text is also a major component of material. U, the system clock here expands to fill the lock screen when you dont. Have any notifications and settings page headings expand to fill the top quarter of the display when you scroll to the top similar to samsungs one ui which, as well as being an aesthetic choice, helps with reachability on devices with larger screens like the pixel 6 pro android? 12 also brings big changes to the notification panel and quick settings which have been given a complete overhaul here in this latest version.
Theres a slick, new animation for pulling down the notification slider and the quick settings toggles themselves are now shown as rounded rectangles. Instead of the old circular buttons theres more to see in general here, including the new internet tab that provides a slightly different way to toggle between wifi and cellular data or switch between networks. If you want to share your wi fi details its now possible to do that through googles, nearby share, which could be a bit simpler than trying to awkwardly scan a qr code from someone elses phone, there are new quick settings shortcuts for google pay and smart home Controls too and youll find extra shortcuts to both of these on the android 12 lock screen once youve got them set up, and the media control cards introduced in android 11 are now easier to dismiss with a new option in android 12 to stop certain apps from Cluttering up that area elsewhere in the pixel ui, the launcher has undergone a bit of a tune up with this at a glance section up top which lets you see more information at once, and there are new widgets too, including the stylized analog, clock and weather widgets. Both of which take on the colours of your wallpaper same goes for the new conversation widget, which can highlight an important chat or group chat from your recent notifications, along with any recent messages from it, its not quite the same as the rumored peoplespace widget, we were Seeing in some of those leaked android 12 mockups earlier in the year, but it is pretty useful all the same so on pixels material.
U in android 12 really is a whole new ui, its still basically the same old android under the hood. But the aesthetic changes here are substantial, making it feel more fresh and modern. How much of this makes it to non? Pixel phones is an open question, of course, were already seeing manufacturers opting not to include material used, dynamic color in their android 12 updates. So probably things are going to be a bit messy over the coming months, as various companies attempt to pair material you with their own design language. The next major tempo feature of android 12 is privacy. The new privacy dashboard helps you keep tabs on which apps are using sensitive permissions like location, microphone and camera and how often theyre using them when an app is tracking, where you are, or using your camera or mic, youll, see a little dot or icon up in The status bar to let you know whats going on and which app is responsible and for location in particular, android 12 lets you control how much information apps can get whenever youre choosing to give an app this permission, you can decide whether it gets to know precisely Where you are or just an approximate location, there are also new quick settings toggles to immediately kill the microphone and camera. If you need to its a continuation of the trends, started in android 10 and android 11, where youre able to give apps just enough data to work properly without handing over more personal information than you need to the same.
Privacy focus applies to many of the pixels ai features on android 12.. Things like live transcribe which might handle sensitive personal info. These now run in what googles, calling the private compute core, which is siloed off from the rest of the os in a similar way to how face and fingerprint data is handled. While recent pixel phones have fed pretty well in terms of battery life, google has overhauled its battery settings in android 12. To give you a clear idea of whats using power battery usage for the past 24 hours is shown here, and you can drill down to see more things like screen on time tapping an app lets. You quickly see if its optimized for battery life or not letting you quickly put any troublesome, apps or games in battery jail to stop them using power. In the background, speaking of games, android 12 finally sees the launch of the built in game dashboard on pixel phones. You can launch it by tapping this floating control and from there youre able to track your frame rate easily take screenshots or videos or even stream to youtube live. There are also some really useful settings tweaks for optimizing for performance or battery life when youre playing at least that is in supported games. This is one of those features that will need to wait a little longer for developers to fully integrate into their titles. That also applies to another great android gaming feature: the new haptic apis in android 12, which lets developers more easily tie vibration feedback to the audio coming out of your speakers.
There are a whole bunch of other features in android 12 that are just plain, useful or help stock android catch up with some of the functionality weve seen in phones from other companies. Scrolling screenshot support is finally here, though it doesnt quite work in all apps. Just yet at least you dont have to wait when youre taking a scroll shot, though its captured instantly in supported apps on android 12. plus, you can now paint emojis text and other decorations onto your screenshots. If you like, you can do more from the recent apps menu too. The recents panel will highlight not just links to web content when theyre shown in an app but also large images, and you can share these with recent contacts or apps or copy them onto the clipboard, its a real time saver and also super useful. If you want to share stuff in a message or a tweet without downloading it to your internal storage, first one handed mode long absent from stock android is new in android 12 2 activated via a swipe down on the gesture area. It pretty much works. The same way as it does on an iphone collapsing, the bottom half of the screen down to make the top half easier to reach quick tap. Lets you assign a tap on the back of your phone to do a bunch of different things like take a screenshot open the assistant or see your recent apps worth noting that this works even on pixel phones without a rear, fingerprint scanner, because its detecting those taps Through the phones other sensors, not the scanner on the back of the phone picture in picture mode has also been tuned up with rounded corners, and the ability to pinch to zoom picture in picture windows can also be much larger or much smaller.
In this new version and its also possible to temporarily tuck them away at the edge of the screen, which i found is a lot more convenient. I use this feature all the time so its great to see getting some love in android 12.. On a more serious note, emergency sos makes pixel phones already excellent life saving features even better enabled by default. This lets you tap five times on your power key to dial the emergency services, either with or without a countdown alarm. Its a great new feature to have, alongside things like built in car, crash detection, important medical information and emergency contacts. Smart rotation is new in android 12 on pixel phones using the front facing camera to detect the angle of your face when you rotate again. This is another feature that some other manufacturers have had for several years at this point and it isnt as crazy, accurate as you might expect, especially in darker lighting conditions, but i did find it worked reliably on my pixel 5 stopping the phone from rotating when i Was lying down and finally, the android 12 easter egg theres a new one every year and for 2021, its all about showing off material you and dynamic color youve got this material themed clock that explodes into a colorful shower of circles when you turn it to 12 Oclock, once youve done that youll get access to this neat little widget, showing you a selection of colors from your individual color palette, which of course in android 12 is based on your home screen.
Wallpaper android 12 is live right now on pixel phones on the pixel 3 up and well be coming to even more devices very soon, including current beta builds from oneplus and samsung. While there are plenty of new and useful features, especially on googles phones. The big deal here is obviously material. U and how that sets the stage for the next generation of android phones into 2022 and beyond hit the comments. Let us know what you think of android 12 so far and be sure to subscribe.