The rollout of Android 11 is finally picking up momentum with more and more devices being updated to the latest version of the operating system, but Google is already getting close to releasing the first developer preview of Android 12. While it’ll be months before all the details are finalized and the final build is released in late summer, a leaked document has surfaced that reveals some major changes in the works for Android 12.
The documen0t, shared with XDA Developers, claims to summarize Google’s changes to the operating system planned for the Android 12 release. Previous leaks have focused on the Android 12’s advanced theming capabilities and a new app hibernation feature, but this new document focus on user-focused privacy visualizations and enhancements to conversations with the addition of new widgets.
On the privacy front, the leaked documents claim that Google will require all its partners to feature microphone and camera indicators at the top of the screen whenever an app activates the hardware sensors on the phone. In the screenshots provided, the indicators appear in the top right corner of the screen, displaying the relevant icons based on which hardware sensors are currently in use. A screenshot also shows that app notifications will also relay the same information, showing you which sensors were recently used by the app so that the user is always aware of when their device’s microphone or camera are being or have been used.
One of the provided screenshots also displays an updated Privacy settings page with toggle controls for muting the microphone and disabling the camera.
To help users keep track of their phone calls and messaging conversations, the document indicates that Android 12 will offer a new widget that will be mandatory for all of Google’s partners. The new conversations widget appears to be a mashup of all the different messaging apps you may use on your device, showing cards for phone calls, chat conversations, upcoming birthdays and activity status updates. A screenshot also shows that Android 12 may finally be taking a stab at organizing widgets a bit better in collapsable sections for each app or function.
At this point, it’s impossible to know if all features revealed in the leaked Android 12 document will make the cut once the final version makes its debut later this year. The first Android 12 developer preview is expected by the end of February, giving us a better indication as to what Google has in store for Android this year.