In a significant departure from previous years, Google today rolled out Android 12 to AOSP but did not launch any devices, including Pixel phones.

Today we’re pushing the source to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and officially releasing the latest version of Android. Keep an eye out for Android 12 coming to a device near you starting with Pixel in the next few weeks and Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi devices later this year.

Traditionally, the AOSP launch of the next version of Android coincides with day one availability for Google phones. That is not the case this year, with Google only revealing that Pixel phones can expect an update in the “next few weeks.”

This comes as the Android 12 Beta 5 release candidate (RC) was rolled out on September 8 as the final preview, with Google telling developers today to continue using the Beta 5 images for testing.

Google says over 225,000 people tested Android 12 over the course of the developer previews and betas.

More than 225,000 of you tested our early releases on Pixel and devices from our partners, and you sent us nearly 50,000 issue reports to help improve the quality of the release. We also appreciate the many articles, discussions, surveys, and in-person meetings where you voiced your thoughts, as well as the work you’ve done to make your apps compatible in time for today’s release. Your support and contributions are what make Android such a great platform for everyone.

Google officially highlights four Android 12 tentpoles for developers as part of today’s AOSP availability. This starts with a “new UI for Android” that incorporates Material You (referred to today as “Material Design 3”), redesigned widgets, Notification UI updates, and App launch splash screens.

In terms of “Performance,” Google says it has “reduced the CPU time used by core system services by 22% and the use of big cores by 15%.”

We’ve also improved app startup times and optimized I/O for faster app loading, and for database queries we’ve improved CursorWindow by as much as 49x for large windows.

“More responsive notifications” are achieved by restricting notification trampolines, with Google Photos launching 34% faster after this change. Other changes include Optimized foreground services, Performance classes for devices, and Faster machine learning.

Privacy” is led by the new Settings Dashboard, the ability to only grant apps Approximate location, and a new Nearby devices permission for setting up wearables and other smart home accessories without granting location access. There are also the microphone and camera indicators/toggles.

Developers can take advantage of “Better user experience tools” like new APIs to better support rounded screen corners, rich content insertion, AVIF images, enhanced haptics, and new camera/sensor effects. There’s also Compatible media transcoding, better debugging, and an Android 12 for Games push.

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