After months of iterative development, Android 12 is finally here for the Pixel smartphones. While Android 11 did not bring any major exciting features. Android 12 brings the major overhaul in years as mentioned by Google. It emphasizes developing a personal device that adapts to you through its money engine and Material You design.
We already know about the auto customization based on the wallpaper. But that’s not all, Android 12 has more than this stored for us. This includes smoother screen motions, new privacy features & dashboards, scrolling screenshots, fluid animations, refreshed notification shade with brand new Quick Settings tiles, and a whole lot more. So let’s head to know the other features in detail. However, keep in note that these features are exclusive to Pixel devices as of now. Also, it’s up to the OEM if they adopt all or miss something.
Top Features of Android 12
Material You design
‘Material You’ means that the users themselves should influence the design. It magically auto-creates a custom theme based on your wallpaper and applies it all over the operating system. This implies that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic, and personal than ever before.
Android 12 will use the color extraction protocol to personalize your phone with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. This means your smartphone UI will change depending upon your home screen wallpaper. Extracting colors from the background and implying it to the entire system makes it feel unique and look great!
While the code engine arranges everything for you, the user can also manually alter things. There’s a dedicated section called Wallpaper & style under Settings to serve this purpose. Following this, you will see a bunch of wallpapers packed under each category. You can also tap the icon at the top right- the phone will automatically apply a new wallpaper from that list every day.
The default for colors is “Wallpaper colors,” but you have a choice to go with “Basic colors.” The chosen color will be applied to the system. And finally, there are Themed icons settings which will allow creating custom app icons based on the theme. However, this option is still under the beta phase.
Not only your native display, but the apps will also sync with the theme based on the wallpaper. Google has been working to customize the apps and adopt the new design. Platforms like Gboard, Gmail, Keep, Calendar, Meet, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calculator, Clock, Lens, Chrome, Contacts, Camera, Messages keeps the look consistent.
Making the experience more seamless, the Widgets API has been improved for Android 12. This supports dynamic color theming making the widget adapt to the wallpaper. You can now natively interact with checkboxes and radio buttons and switches in a widget. There’s a bunch of new widgets with a new design and automatic color customization.
Redesigned Quick Settings and notification shade
Though redesigning notification shade is nothing new with an Android release. But this time, Quick Settings tiles have a new layout too which includes Google Pay and other Home Controls. The tiles are now huge with a better design. You can see four options in a single swipe down and eight tiles in full screen.
Moreover, the notification shade has differently rounded corners which are easier to notice. Also, the apps show animated images and let you send images while replying from the notification shade. Additionally, you can mark a selected conversation as a priority and add the dedicated widget to the home screen.
Lock screen and Always-on Display
While on Android 12, the lock screen will display a clock in a bigger size when you don’t have any notifications. In another case, the time display becomes smaller. Whatever the size may be, it also expands to the always-on display. On the top, you get the day, date, and weather info. While the bottom center shows you the battery capacity on the AOD.
On-device search in the app drawer
The Pixel Launcher has an interesting tweak in the app drawer. Apart from the name searches, you can watch results entirely from the device like contacts, conversations, and more. Below the search results, there’s a “Search on Google” bar to help with what you are looking for.
Easily copy links, app hibernation
In the Recent apps screen, you will see a small button at the top right part of the app’s snapshot. This allows to copy or share that URL quickly even in images or video. As the name suggests, the App hibernation feature “hibernates” apps that are not in use for months so that they use less storage. Using the ap gain will simply take it out of hibernation.
Extra dim screen, new auto-rotate behavior
Android 12 offers an option called Extra Dim that will dim the brightness more than the lowest one. You can find this option under Accessibility Settings or directly in quick tiles. Tapping it at night or in darkness will turn your screen extra dim making the usage more convenient.
The auto-rotate feature on Android 12 is not limited to the on/off switch. In fact, you can enable the Face Detection option that will use the front camera to improve rotation accuracy.
Scrolling screenshots, picture-in-picture improvements
Capturing a screenshot on Android 12 provides an option called “Capture more.” As the name suggests, you can select the size of the window you want to capture besides the regular screen size.
The same case is with the Picture-in-picture window. A single tap on the PiP window will open the controls. While the double-tapping action toggles the current size and the maximum PiP size. The window can be resized via pinch to zoom. Furthermore, you can also “stash” and “unstash” the window by dragging it or dragging it out to any side.
Just like Apple, you can also use your Android 12 running smartphone to unlock your car. This feature work through NFC where you simply have to tap your phone to your car’s door. Alternatively, it also works over UWB devices where you can also share your virtual car key with others.
You can read more about the Android 12 features by tapping on the button below