Yesterday saw the release of the 2nd Android 12 beta, one of a few that we’ll see ahead of the final release sometime this Fall. There’s a lot going on in this year’s version of Android, as Google is upping the ante and including much more than performance boosts and subtle UI tweaks.
In fact, Android 12 is arguably the biggest change to Android ever, if not the biggest since the #HoloYolo days. What’s more surprising about this, compared to years past, is that apparently, the Android 12 beta program is breaking records left and right. VP of Engineering for Android, Dave Burke, shared that the Android 12 beta is the company’s “most downloaded/installed beta ever”. Those are some pretty interesting claims that we’re only in the 2nd beta release, and not even all of the new features are available just yet.
Android 12's beta is by far our most downloaded/installed beta ever. Speaking of which, Beta 2 is available today: https://t.co/VR8CtXKWkZ
— Dave Burke (@davey_burke) June 9, 2021
What shouldn’t come as a surprise is an excitement that seems to be felt amongst the Android community. We’re finally getting a built-in theming system for stock Android, something that has been available on many of the other most popular Android phones like the OnePlus 9 Pro and the Galaxy S21. Material You is providing a drastic change in direction for how your phone looks and feels, versus sticking with the same old “theme” from years past.
There are tons of new privacy features, including the new Privacy Dashboard, so you can keep an eye on what your apps are accessing even when you aren’t looking. The one-handed mode has us lusting after a Pixel 6 Pro with a larger screen, but it’s still making things much easier to use even if you have a Pixel 5 and need to reach the top of the screen or just adjust the volume.
Unfortunately, Burke stopped short of sharing any hard numbers behind the claims. Considering that the Android 12 beta is available for many more device owners than just those who have and use a Google Pixel, this could help explain some of the record-breaking. But truth be told, we don’t care about how the numbers were calculated. It’s exciting to see that the Android community at large is excited for the next version of Android. So much so, that people are installing the beta, even though you probably should still be holding off for another release or two. But hey, to each their own, right?