Android 12 Beta lands with a massive performance boost and significant redesign


It’s been a few months since Google introduced the Android 12 Developer Preview, but now the wait is over if you’ve been holding off on trying out the latest version of Android. During the Google I/O 2021 keynote, the company official shared what’s to come with Android 12, and it’s nothing like what we’ve seen so far (unless you’ve paid attention to the leaks).

Material You is Google’s next design initiative, offering an upgrade in how Android 12 looks and feels over the old Material Design. There’s a brand-new system-wide theming system, allowing you to customize different aspects of the interface simply based on the wallpapers that you are using. Android 12 can actually “extract” the color data being used in your wallpaper, and then adding the same or similar colors to various aspects of the interface. This includes things like the notification shade, lock screen clock, and much more.

Google states that these new design elements will be seen through various apps and elements of the Android 12 interface. This includes some of Google’s own apps such as Gboard, the calculator app, and many more. But as you would expect, Google also confirmed that if you aren’t exactly a fan of how this new theming system works, then you’ll be able to customize the colors to your liking if that’s what you want to do.

When the first Android 12 developer preview was released, there really wasn’t too much to write home about. But after some digging, folks starting finding new design elements, including the new “Silky Home” settings app, which seemed to pull some design inspiration from Samsung’s One UI while offering better one-handed use. Silky Home is here with the first Android 12 beta, but you’ll also likely notice that things like the notification toggles have been enlarged. This is to go along with Android 12’s overall theme of providing better reachability while interacting and using your Pixel devices.

Some other changes include faster and more fluid animations, while the Android 12 development team has managed to reduce the system’s CPU usage by more than 20%. This is pretty impressive when you consider all of the other design changes that have arrived, making Android 12 one of the biggest overhauls in Android’s history.

As we saw in Jon Prosser’s leaks over the weekend, there are a few new widgets to make use of on your home screen, including the new Conversations widget and a new clock widget. These are nice additions considering how stale and stagnant Google’s own widgets have become over the past few Android releases.

If you’re wondering when you’ll be able to get your hands on Android 12, the beta program opened today for Pixel devices and some others. Phone makers like OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Oppo have joined the Pixel ranks in terms of offering an Android 12 beta. But these are limited to certain devices, and the beta program launch varies depending on the manufacturer. Nevertheless, Android 12 is finally here, and you can install it on your Pixel now!


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