Android 12 Overview Updated March 18, 2021

Android 12

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209 'Android 12' stories

May 2020 - September 2021

Android 12 Stories September 21

Although we’re almost ready for the stable Android 12 update to arrive on Pixel devices, the rest of the industry is just beginning to roll out their own flavors of the latest stable OS. Samsung is next with One UI 4.0, and although effectively Beta 1, we’ve been working out what the top new features are for intrepid Galaxy device enthusiasts.

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After redesigning the Weather app, Google’s next step is introducing Android 12 homescreen widgets. We enabled the first one last week, and the second Google widget coming is straight from the Pixel 6’s Material You advertising

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Android 12 Stories September 17

We started seeing signs last week that Google is working on a mid-cycle Android update that deviates from the usual yearly release schedule. There are many unknowns about what we’ve been colloquially calling “Android 12.1,” but we now know what the new AOSP wallpaper looks like.

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Every app open on Android 12 is accompanied by a launch animation to make “startup a more consistent and delightful experience.” One aspect of this is an animated icon on the splash screen, with Drive being the first Google app to support this on Android 12.

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Android 12 Stories September 16

Coming with Android 12 on Pixel devices, “Material You” is the next evolution of Google’s design language, and it brings with it the neat ability to customize colors to match your wallpaper. This primarily affects system elements, but app developers can also tap into it. Below, you’ll find a list of apps that support Material You on Android 12, both first-party and third-party.

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Android 12 Stories September 15

Android 12 is the biggest update to Android in years, and it’s one that’s highly anticipated by many. However, as suspected, it seems like a lot of the update’s best features and biggest changes might not go beyond Google. That’s shown pretty clearly by Samsung’s take on Android 12, which just debuted in beta this week.

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Following last week’s release candidate, Google today opened the Android 12 Beta 5 feedback survey. Like in August, its availability was delayed from the usual Friday after launch.

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Android 12 Stories September 14

How to install the Android 12 Beta on Samsung Galaxy S21

Android 12 hasn’t been officially released yet, but Samsung is opening the door for its beta program in several regions around the world. Now, the One UI 4.0 Beta with Android 12 is rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S21 users — here’s how to use it.

Android 12 brings a huge refresh to the look of the platform, and one place that’s immediately apparent is with homescreen widgets. As Google works to revamp its catalog, we’re getting an early peek at a new Google Weather widget that will be coming to Android 12.

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Android 12 Stories September 13

Google still hasn’t released Android 12, but it seems that’s not slowing partners. Tonight, Samsung has announced that it will release its Android 12 beta in the US starting on September 14.

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With the fifth and final beta now available to Pixel owners, Android 12 will be released in the “next few weeks” according to Google. Now, though, we might have some clearer insight into the exact Android 12 release date.

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Android 12 Stories September 12

Assistant Driving Mode was announced at I/O 2019 to replace Android Auto on phones. It was supposed to launch that summer but was delayed, and is now happening with Android 12. Ahead of that, the homescreen UI unveiled over two years ago is finally appearing in Assistant Driving Mode.

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Android 12 Stories September 11

Samsung’s Android 12 beta was supposed to come out last week but has been delayed

Android 12 isn’t yet out on Pixel phones, but it is just around the corner. Apparently, Samsung was set to release its Android 12 beta last week, but the launch has now suffered a delay.

Android 12 Stories September 9

With Android 12, Google announced the “Private Compute Core” to allow for “new technologies that are private by design.” The company shared more details today about Android’s Private Compute Services.

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Android 12 Stories September 8

Breaking from the recent yearly release cadence, the next version of Android to release might be a mid-cycle bump — an “Android 12.1,” if you will — rather than Android 13.

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The long road to a stable Android 12 release is punctuated by the preview phase and the very latest is Beta 5. An already stacked OS is getting yet more tweaks and refinements before it’s ready for the public, and so we’ve been delving into Android 12 Beta 5 to find all the new features and functions.

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Google teases Pixel 6 again in new image showcasing Android 12’s Material You

Today, in the midst of the latest Android 12 Beta release, Google dropped its first new image of the Pixel 6 since showing off the phone in August alongside a celebration of the Material You design that will make its proper debut on that phone.

Besides a slew of Material You additions and other enhancements, Android 12 Beta 5 today expands — as we’ve been expecting — Nearby Share with an “Everyone” visibility option, redesigned QS pane, and multi-device sharing.

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Android 12 Beta 5: Pixel phones will notify users that charging is limited when overheating

Google recently added a new feature to Pixel smartphones that is designed to retain battery health by limiting charging in certain circumstances. Now, in Android 12, Google is expanding this limit so your Pixel will limit charging when the phone is overheating.

Material You is in full swing as we approach the stable release of Android 12, and in Beta 5 today Google has rolled out a few big Material You updates including the teased revamp of Calculator.

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Android 12 Beta 5: Smart home quick controls get a dedicated lockscreen shortcut

Android 11 delivered a truly great feature to the power menu with a list of smart home controls at the ready, but Android 12 completely removes it. That feature, though, will live on in another sense with a dedicated shortcut on the Android 12 lockscreen for smart home quick controls.

Beta 5 of Android 12 is here as the final update before the public launch in the coming weeks. The Android 12 Easter egg was introduced last month, but it’s gotten more elaborate today with a homescreen widget that tells you the Dynamic Color palette Material You is using.

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Google is bringing a whole new design to Android 12 with “Material You,” and that includes the first formal widget revamp the platform has seen in the better part of a decade. Now, in Android 12 Beta 5, Google has finally debuted a taste of its preferred design for Material You widgets in the form of some clock widgets.

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Google today released the final update to Android 12 before the public launch in the next few weeks. Over the coming hours, we’ll dive into Android 12 Beta 5 to chronicle all the new features.

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How to get the Android 12 Beta on Google Pixel

After a few developer previews and the big Google I/O reveal, Android 12 is now available in beta to anyone who wants to give it a shot. Here’s how to get the Android 12 Beta on your Google Pixel smartphone.

Just a day after its first security update became available, Google’s latest affordable phone, the Pixel 5a, is now eligible to join the Android 12 Beta.

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Nearly seven months have passed since Google released the first developer preview of its next major mobile OS release. Android 12 Beta 5 is available today as the final update (and release candidate) before the public launch.

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Android 12 Stories September 7

Wallpaper-based theming is the main highlight of Android 12 and Material You. However, Dynamic Color did not initially work with the Pixel Live Wallpaper collection/category, and an app update rolling out this week remedies that.

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Android 12 Stories August 31

Google is set to release Android 12’s stable build on Pixel phones sometime soon, but it seems Samsung will be closer than ever in starting its beta program. According to a new teaser, Samsung will release its first Android 12 build in September.

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Android 12 Stories August 27

Samsung’s Android 12 beta hinted at by app listing and uncovered build numbers

It should be obvious that Samsung is actively working on Android 12 behind the scenes, but it seems a beta release could come in the not-too-distant future according to some new evidence.

Android 12 Stories August 25

The first Android 12 Beta worked out relatively well. There were no major bugs to speak of outside of one that prevented users from accessing the power menu easily. With Google Pay functional, it seems as though there were no major reasons to skip. After a second beta released caused many issues, though, you’d be justified in being wary of the third. Luckily, Android 12 Beta 4 bugs appear to be fairly scarce.

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Exactly two weeks after the last release in the preview program, Android 12 Beta 4.1 is rolling out with much-needed bug fixes on Pixel phones.

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Android 12 Stories August 20

Besides VPN issues and some notifications not popping up, Android 12 Beta 4 is quite stable for day-to-day usage. An issue that emerged in the last day or so, however, sees Android System Intelligence crash repeatedly on Android 12.

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Android 12 Stories August 19

While we won’t see a mid-year release for the proper OnePlus 9 series this time around, it seems that one version is getting a refresh. A new report claims that the OnePlus 9R will get a replacement in the OnePlus 9RT.

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Android 12 Stories August 18

This month’s feedback survey comes a week after Google released Android 12 Beta 4. Its availability is slightly delayed from the usual two days following launch.

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Android 12 Stories August 16

It’s hard to do justice to each incremental Android 12 Beta update, but Beta 4 added some notable features that we missed in our initial hands-on sweep.

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Android 12 Stories August 15

With the December 2020 Feature Drop, Google made it so that your Pixel phone charges slowly at night to preserve battery health. Pixel users have had hit or miss experiences with Adaptive Charging, and Google now looks to have tweaked how it works on Android 12.

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Android 12 Stories August 13

With this week’s release, Google is “moving into the final phase” of Android 12 and focusing on “polish, performance, and stability” rather than adding new features. However, a bug in Android 12 Beta 4 sees most notification banners not pop up.

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Android 12 Stories August 12

Android 12 Beta 4 has added a fair volume of new features and functions, but the lockscreen has seen a trio of tweaks that include the brand new Google Sans Text for the Now Playing feature, plus some improved icons for other existing features.

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Android 12 Stories August 11

Besides wallpapers, Google lets owners customize the Pixel experience by making available a large collection of ringtones, notifications, and alarm sounds. Android 12 Beta 3 introduces a trio of additions to the Sounds app, and they’re very likely the new/next Pixel defaults.

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We are potentially just a month or so away from the actual full stable Android 12 release, and that means that the public-facing preview phase is not far off done. Android 12 Beta 4 has arrived some four weeks after the third, and following all of our previous deep dives, we’ve been spending time with it to find the best new features and changes that you can enjoy right now.

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The multitasking menu in Android 12 has been tweaked over the Beta period, but the layout is mostly unchanged. Google, however, has put a lot of work into making it easier to share content from Recents, and Android 12 Beta 4 adds image support.

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With the release of the Android 12 Beta 4 build, new features are pretty thin on the ground, but the long-awaited Game Dashboard is now far easier to launch, with the in-game quick toggle also making an appearance.

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Every year, Google includes an easter egg in the latest Android release, and Android 12 is no different. With the release of Android 12 Beta 4, this year’s easter egg is live, serving to showcase Material You and its dynamic colors.

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The visual theme of Android 12 is by far the biggest change to the platform, and in Beta 4, Google is still making tweaks to how Material You is implemented. In this latest release, more themed icons have been added, and the Google Search logo on the Pixel Launcher gets a delightful Material You makeover.

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With the Platform Stability milestone in today’s release, Android 12 nears a public launch. Over the coming hours, we will dive into Android 12 Beta 4 to chronicle all the new features.

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This year’s Android preview cycle sees two additional releases before wider consumer availability with the public launch. Android 12 Beta 4 is rolling out today for Pixel phones with “Platform Stability.” 

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Android 12 Stories August 9

Android 12 brings with it a big overhaul to notifications and Quick Settings. Many parts of the redesign launched with Android 12 Beta 1, but Google is now rolling out an “Ongoing call” chip for the Phone app.

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