Android 12 is here, but you can’t install the final version yet


The day is almost finally here. Well, it’s finally here, but not really. Android 12 is now “live in AOSP”, according to a post from Dave Burk, VP of Engineering, on the Android Developers Blog. Basically, the source code for Android 12 is being pushed to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which brings us one step closer to the actual final release of Android 12.

Burke shared that the final update will begin coming to the Google Pixel “in the next few weeks”, before arriving for a slew of devices “later this year”. These other devices include phones from Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, Realme, Tecno, Xiaomi, and Vivo, but we don’t have any specifics as to when the update will actually arrive for those.

In addition to sharing that the Android 12 source code has arrived in AOSP, Burke revealed some interesting tidbits about the beta program.

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.

That’s quite an impressive number of devices to be enrolled in the Android 12 beta program, which backs up Burke’s tweet from back in June, where the Android 12 beta was stated as being Google’s “most downloaded/installed beta ever”.

We’ve already covered quite a bit as to what Android 12 will bring to your devices, but there are a few more changes that weren’t previously announced until today’s blog post. These include an all-new battery widget for your various devices, including your phone, smartwatch, and headphones. The location access pop-up is also more detailed than previously, showing an overview of the differences between “Precise” and “Approximate”, while giving you the same three different options below.

Highlights of Android 12

When Android 12 finally does arrive, here are some of the highlights of what your device will be able to do.

  • Material You – Android 12 introduces a new design language called Material You, helping you to build more personalized, beautiful apps.
  • Redesigned widgets – We refreshed app widgets to make them more useful, beautiful, and discoverable. Try them with new interactive controls, responsive layouts for any device, and dynamic colors to create a personalized but consistent look.
  • Notification UI updates – We also refreshed notification designs to make them more modern and useful. Android 12 also decorates custom notifications with standard affordances to make them consistent with all other notifications.
  • Faster, more efficient system performance – We 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.
  • Faster machine learning – Android 12 helps you make the most of ML accelerators and always get the best possible performance through the Neural Networks API.
  • Privacy Dashboard – A new dashboard in Settings gives users better visibility over when your app accesses microphone, camera, and location data.
  • Microphone and camera toggles – On supported devices, new toggles in Quick Settings make it easy for users to instantly disable app access to the microphone and camera.
  • Rich content insertion – A new unified API lets you receive rich content in your UI from any source: clipboard, keyboard, or drag-and-drop.
  • Android 12 for Games – With Game Mode APIs, you can react to the players’ performance profile selection for your game – like better battery life for a long commute, or performance mode to get peak frame rates. Play as you download will allow game assets to be fetched in the background during install, getting your players into gameplay faster.

Although we were hoping that Android 12 would land for Pixel devices today, it’s just our luck that we’ll have to wait a little while longer. But if you’re already on Beta 5, you should be perfectly fine until the final version is released.

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