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What’s Coming with Android 12

Web & Mobile

Josue Castillo wrote this article


With each Android release, new features are unveiled, behaviors are changed, and the user interface is updated. New features make the platform more helpful, secure, and an overall better performer in the mobile realm.

We had the privilege of testing the new Android 12 developer preview, and we are blown away by the new features.

Think of the developer preview (beta version) as a taste of what’s to come from the release version of Android 12. With the beta, you can see and test new features, but we do not recommend updating just yet because it is still full of bugs.

Why You Shouldn’t Update Just Yet

Since it is only a preview that is available, we recommend you don’t update just yet.

Instead, wait until the final release, and then use all the bug-free features.

But we’re happy to save you the trouble and provide you with a birds-eye-view of what to expect, from different icon sizes, tools, and a new Android user interface.

Google announced three developer previews followed by four months of betas until the final release.

Without further ado, let us get into what you can expect from Android 12!

Our Favorite Update: Media Player UI

The new look for the media player User Interface is, in our opinion, one of the top new features for the Android 12 developer preview.

It gives the new media player more presence.

It is almost as if the Android 12 media player is screaming “here I am” loud and proud.

The player has changed on both the lock screen and in the notification center.

The Bluetooth connector icon is a brand new feature allowing users to connect to an external Bluetooth device effortlessly.

Under “media” in settings, you can now prevent certain apps from appearing on your lock screen, so that you have a cleaner feel.

Speaking of settings, those also received a brush up.

Redesign of Settings App

Android 11 is on the left and Android 12 is on the right.

As you can see from the image above, the settings page has changed quite a bit.

The first noticeable change is that the search bar is now circular instead of rectangular. Also, the user’s image is now bigger and separate from the search bar.

The next noticeable change is that the “Wi-Fi” became concatenated into “Network & Internet.”

There is now a blue background hue when selecting a sub-category in settings. The background hue, we believe, is supposed to be a customizable setting Android is providing its users.

When perusing the sub-categories, you can also notice the toggle switches are different. They almost have a pill-shaped look to them.

Also, the toggle turns grey to emphasize it is inactive and light green when active.

Lastly, all the icons are also a tad bit larger than they were before.

Another update brought forth was the app shortcut menu.

New App Shortcut Menu Design

When pressing and holding an icon, now there is a redesigned and more detailed pop-up.

This feature makes it easier to activate and use one-handed.

App developers can customize this feature to make an app stand out from its competitors. Each app can have different pop-ups when pressed and held.

For example, the messages pop up show previously messaged contacts and an option to start a new conversation, whereas an app like Google Chrome allows a new tab or a new incognito tab.

Seamlessly Share Wifi Passwords

Apple has a feature that allows you to share passwords with others in the same area, but now so does Android.

You can now scan a QR code and instantly share the wifi password with Nearby Share, a feature in “Network and Internet.”

This feature is better than Apple’s wifi password share feature. Apple’s wifi sharing feature is unreliable and unpredictable — on Android, you click, scan, and you’re all done.

Another great feature Android is unveiling is the enhanced screenshot tool.

Introducing The Scrolling Screenshot

Another feature we are excited to discuss are scrolling screenshots.

Android is introducing scrolling screenshots, where the user can continue to scroll and capture everything on the screen instead of having to take multiple screenshots.

Scrolling screenshots is a feature that was available in third-party Android skins (or modified versions of Android) like MIUI and OxygenOS, and it was a part of Android 11 Developer Preview, but it was not implemented in the final release.

This feature is disabled by default, so you must enable it to use it.

When you get the feature enabled it still is janky and unreliable, but the feature does work.

Fingers crossed this feature makes it to the final release, especially since it was not a part of the Android 11 final release.

The screenshot tool is very Instagram like, meaning that you can add text and emojis to the screenshot.

Notification Redesign and App Launcher Grid Layout Updated

Phones, without a doubt, can be very distracting when trying to get work done, but this new feature solves that problem.

This great feature allows you to snooze or disable your notifications. Not only does it allow you to snooze notifications, but it also gives you full control of how long you want to snooze notifications.

This feature made its first debut in Android Oreo, and it is also disabled by default.

Notifications were not the only screen changes. Another update was the Android app launcher grid layout.

Finally, the last feature that comes with Android 12 is an extended app launcher grid layout.

The grid layouts available up until now have been square, but this new one is rectangular. It is a four-by-five grid that allows your apps to appear cleaner.

How This Will Affect Your Apps and How You Can Get It Ready For Android 12

In most cases, your app will function exactly the same as it did on Android 11, but we wanted to include this as a quick overview of the changes you may need to make.

To safely migrate your app to Android 12 there are two steps:

1. Ensuring app compatibility with the new release

2. Targeting the new features and APIs

You can check your app’s compatibility with the new release by testing your features. This is crucial because some platform changes can affect the way your app behaves, so it is important to test as early as possible and make any changes needed if there are any.

The best way to test for any issues is to use a device with Android 12 installed and work through all the flows and functionalities while keeping an eye for issues.

Secondly, after reviewing the behavior changes of Android 12 you can nit-pick and test any functionalities that might be affected such as notifications, toggles, etc.

If you want to read up more about the checklist to get your app ready for Android 12 here is a link.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the new features introduced and updated seem to provide the user with more one-handed control, meaning when using your Android device with one hand it is easy to navigate with your thumb.

Out with the old and in with the new and in our case out with Android 11 (almost) and in with Android 12.

We believe that Android 12 will be even better when it is fully released. We are on the edge of our seats patiently waiting for it to be released, but up until then we are happy to have the beta version.

We recommend you stick with Android 11 until all the bugs are fully worked out, but if you are curious like us feel free to test out the previews.

With thew Android 12 preview we got a taste of what to expect, but we are still waiting for the meat of it to be released. So for now we will just wait until it is available.

About Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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