Ignoring the software enhancements and behind-the-scenes improvements found with Android 12, the biggest change comes via Material You. This is a drastic overhaul of the UI and aims to make every phone as personal as possible thanks to the ability for your phone to pull colors from your wallpaper and apply them across the entire interface.
But in order for Material You to be taken seriously, this has forced Google to update its own apps to take advantage and the company has published a blog post highlighting these changes. One aspect of Material You that is a welcome change is the new design language being used for widgets. Not only can these also implement the color palette themes, but the widgets themselves have been overhauled with rounded edges.
With Android 12 officially available, and the Pixel 6 getting into the hands of more and more users, Google has released a series of updates providing redesigned widgets. These include apps such as Google Fi, new clock widgets, YouTube Music, Google Drive, Photos, and more.
For example, the new Google Maps widget comes with search suggestions that can be tapped right from your Home Screen. Google Keep widgets provide a list of your recent notes, along with a series of quick actions.
Google Photos gains several different unique widget shapes to highlight your favorite images. And the new Google Drive widget makes it easier to not only upload files, but to also search for them right from your Home Screen.
Playback controls return with the new YouTube Music widget, and there are three new analog clock widgets available. The Google Fi widget has also been slightly redesigned, only really to match up with the rest of your devices theme.
Hopefully, we continue to see more apps released with useful and beautiful widgets for us to enjoy and take advantage of. Given that widgets had gotten pretty stale on previous software releases, this is a massive step in the right direction.