Android 12 Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know
Android 12 improves the user experience from Android 11 and adds exciting features to the platform. Here’s what developers, businesses and users need to know about Google’s Android 12.
The Android operating system has come a very long way from its humble and awkward beginnings. Instead of the mobile platform being an underdog, unprepared to serve power users and those who need a mobile device designed for business, Android is now perfectly adept at handling everything you throw at it and be the most personal Google OS ever.
Haptic Feedback Coupled With Audio
You probably recognize this feature mostly from gaming consoles. You feel it when your controller shakes in response to an explosion on the screen. Android 12 comes with this ability natively. Game developers can make your phone vibrate when things happen on screen. There are some non-gaming uses for it as well, such as with movies or syncing vibration with custom ringtones.
Connect The Handset To A Computer With Adb Tools Installed
This step is important as its the only way to transfer the downloaded OTA file to your handset. Youll need to have ADB and Fastboot tools in a handy place. You can download ADB tools from the Android Developers website. You can also use the Universal ADB Drivers from ClockWorkMod, which can make the process a bit easier on Windows devices.
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Beware If You Are Running Android 13 Dp1
If your Pixel device is already running Android 13 DP1 , this update isnt for you. Make sure that you are NOT enrolled in the Android Beta for Pixel program, as this could potentially cause issues for you. Many reports are swimming around of Android 13 DP1 users getting the QPR3 update popup on their phones and proceeding with it, only to find that their phones attempted to downgrade and were subsequently forced to factory reset. This seems like an oversight on Googles part, and we hope that they take action quickly in excluding phones running A13DP1 from getting the update notice.
Android 12 Release Date
Android 12 was announced at , and is was launched on the Android Open Source Project on October 4. Shortly after the launched on October 19, Android 12 became available for older Pixel phones, though the company hasn’t released an official compatibility list.
Then, devices from Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi are set to get Android 12 later this year.
It will be up to device manufacturers to bring Android 12 to your phone though, and that often takes months to do, so dont be surprised if your specific handset isn’t able to update to Android 12 until 2022.
In the meantime, the new software is out in beta for select devices now, including phones from Oppo, Nokia, OnePlus, Xiaomi, ZTE, Asus, TCL and iQOO – as well as plenty of Pixel devices. You can find the full list in the section below.
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Notifications And Other Changes
Notifications also got some love from Google this year. Not only did they get a subtle design update to fit better with Android 12s aesthetics, but under-the-hood changes help apps launch faster when opening from a notification along with other improvements to make them look and feel better.
If you want to learn more about the Android 12 redesign, be sure to visit our explainer at the link.
Enter The Sideload Command
As long as everything is in place, you can now sideload the OTA file. On Windows, ensure your Command Prompt is directed to the ADB tools folder and type in adb sideload. If youre on macOS or Linux, do the same thing in Terminal but type in ./adb sideload. Youll then need to insert the file name of the .zip folder you downloaded from Google and hit enter to start the process.
If everything is working properly, you should see some dialog on your computer and handset that shows the process of the sideload and installation process.
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A More Personal Experience
Android 12 includes the biggest design change in Android’s history. We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light and motion. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic and personal than ever before.
Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, youll be able to completely personalize your phone with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. Using what we call color extraction, you choose your wallpaper, and the system automatically determines which colors are dominant, which ones are complementary and which ones just look great. It then applies those colors across the entire OS: the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets and much more.
This work is being done in deep collaboration between our software, hardware and Material Design teams. Were unifying our software and hardware ecosystems under a single design language called Material You.
Fluid motion and animations
From the moment you pick up an Android 12 device, youll feel how it comes alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone quickly responds to your touch with smooth motion and animations. For example, when you dismiss your notifications on the lock screen, your clock will appear larger so you know when youre all caught up.
Redesigned system spaces
What Is Android 12
Android 12 is the latest release of Googles mobile operating system, and it is seamlessly integrated with Googles app ecosystem. That means, out of the box, Android pairs perfectly with the likes of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Photos and just about any of the apps offered within Google Workspaces, for business users.
Android also happens to be the most widely-used mobile operating system on the planet, with over 83% of global smartphones shipped with Android to date in 2021.
As with the later releases of Android, Google has done away with the pastry nomenclature, and opted for a simple numerical naming conventionhence, Android 12.
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New Android 12 Features Announced During Google I/o 2021
On May 18, 2021, during the , the following features were announced:
- The lock screen will be more playful with dynamic lighting
- The notification shade will be more intuitive
- Quick Settings has been redesigned to include Google Pay and Home Controls
- Google Assistant can be invoked by long-pressing the power button
- CPU time has been reduced by 22%, making everything in Android faster
- Privacy Dashboard will be an easy to use location to manage app permissions
- An indicator will appear when an app is using the camera or the mic
- Quick settings now include toggles to disable the mic and camera systemwide
- Android Private Compute Core, which powers the likes of Android Caption and doesnt share information with any other app or service
Android 12l Beta 2 Changelog
From the changelog, this would appear to be a relatively minor bug fix upgrade. These are pretty important though, and its a step towards the final release which we expect to arrive sometime in March. There are likely other smaller feature introductions as well, though well need to install the update ourselves and check it out to find out whats been added. It also comes with the latest security patches.
This update is particularly important for developers, as Google says that from Beta 2, the system behaviors and APIs are finalized.
Starting at Beta 2, system behaviors and APIs are finalized. This is the time to begin final testing and development work needed to ensure that a compatible version of your app will be ready for users getting this update. 12L will have a standard API level at this time.
With the final APIs, its also time to shift focus to final compatibility testing and release your updated apps to users and downstream developers. You can also build with the final APIs and refine any new code that is using the new APIs or features.
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Flash Or Manually Install A System Image
Alternatively, if you’d rather flash your device, we recommend using theAndroid Flash Tool.
If you need to flash your device manually for some other reason, you can get theAndroid 12 system image for your device on the . Read the generalinstructions for how to flash a systemimage to yourdevice. This approach can be useful when you need more control over testing,such as for automated testing or regression testing.
Flash Your Device Manually
You can also download the latest system image and manually flash it to yourdevice. See the following table to download the system image for your testdevice. Manually flashing a device is useful if you need precise control overthe test environment or if you need to reinstall frequently, such as whenperforming automated testing.
Once you back up your device data and download the matching system image below,you can flash the image onto your device.
You can choose to revert to a production build at any time.
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How To Enroll In Android 12 Beta Program On Pixel
Once youve ensured you have compatible devices, you can select which ones join the program. To enroll a device, simply click Opt-In, accept the terms and conditions, and then hit Join Beta. From that point, Google will work some magic on its servers to get the update to your device.
After youve opted in, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to get the update over to your device. Youll need to ensure youve already installed any other updates before this one too. To check for the Android 12 beta update manually, head to Settings > System > Advanced > System Updates.
If you install the beta but later decide you want to go back to Android 11, you can visit this same site and un-enroll your device.
Google Pixel 5a Owners Can Now Join The Android 12 Beta
Just a day after its first security update became available, Googles latest affordable phone, the Pixel 5a, is now eligible to join the Android 12 Beta.
Googles final Android 12 Beta has been launched into the world today, serving as a release candidate for what Pixel owners can expect when Android 12 launches later this year. If youve been keeping up with Android 12 up to this point, the update doesnt have much new, but its a night and day difference when compared to Android 11. As the final release candidate, important features like Google Pay work as youd expect.
Despite launching a few days after the Pixel 5as street date, the previous release, Android 12 Beta 4.1, was not made available to owners of the Pixel 5a. Unlike last year where the final Android 11 Beta arrived on the Pixel 4a a few weeks late, the Pixel 5a is joining the fold on the same day as other devices get Beta 5.
Just yesterday, the Pixel 5a received its first security update, bumping it from the June 2021 update all the way to September 2021. With that update now in the rearview, Google has put forward an opportunity for app developers and Pixel enthusiasts to get their hands on the latest software on the companys latest phone. This includes a major redesign to Android with Material You, a design language that, among other things, can recolor itself automatically to have individual apps match your devices wallpaper.
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Set Up An Android Emulator
Configuring an Android emulator to run Android 12 is a great solution forexploring new features and APIs and testing Android 12 behavior changes. Settingup an emulator is fast and convenient and allows you to emulate various screensites and device characteristics.
You can set up an emulator from inside Android Studio by doing the following:
In Android Studio, click Tools > SDK Manager.
In the SDK Tools tab, select the latest version of Android Emulator,and click OK. This action installs the latest version if it isn’talready installed.
In Android Studio, click Tools > AVD Manager, and follow theinstructions to create a new Android Virtual Device .
Be sure to select a device definition for a supported Pixel deviceand a 64-bit Android 13 emulator system image. Note that 32-bit Androidemulator system images are not supported in Android 12. If you don’t alreadyhave an Android 12 system image installed that matches your devicedefinition, click next to the Release Name to get it.
Return to the list of virtual devices in the AVD Manager, and thendouble-click your Android 12 virtual device to launch it.
Google Android 12 Public Beta 1 Released For Pixel Phones
After three developer previews of the upcoming Android 12, has now released the first beta update for the eligible Pixel phones for testing purposes. This update is more stable in nature than the developer previews.
Android 12 contains the biggest design change in Android history. The company rethought the entire experience, from color to shape, lighting and movement. The result is that Android 12 is more expressive, dynamic, and personalized than ever.
Android 12 Beta 1 Eligible devices
- Google Pixel 3
Android 12 Beta 1 Features
Starting with Android 12 on Pixel devices, you will be able to fully personalize your phone with custom color palettes and redesigned widgets. Using our so-called color extraction function, you can choose a wallpaper, and the system will automatically determine which colors are dominant, which colors are complementary colors, and which look good. Then, it applies these colors to the entire operating system: notification bar, lock screen, volume control, new widgets, and so on.
This work is done in deep cooperation between our software, hardware, and material design teams. Google is using a design language called Material You to unify our software and hardware ecosystem.
Fluid motion and animations
Redesigned system spaces
Some of the most important spaces on the phone have been reimagined to help you get your work done.
Privacy and Security
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How To Easily Install Android 12 On Google Pixel Phones
Android 12 is a major upgrade from Google and brings forth major customization options. Other than the visual design overhaul that uses the ‘Material You’ approach, there is a boatload of privacy and security features that will protect users against apps tracking their data. If you are interested, here is how to install Android 12 on your compatible Google Pixel phones.
Before you head over to the step-by-step instructions, you should note that the Android 12 beta is crawling with bugs at this stage. What this means is that you should not opt to install Android 12 on your phone that you use as a daily driver. If you are doing so, make sure that all of your important data is backed up properly and saved on your computer. In case anything goes off, you can simply opt out of the beta program and install Android 11’s latest build on your device.
Also, check out which . Let’s dive in to see how to install Android 12 beta on your Google Pixel phones:
1. The first thing that you have to do is head over to the Android 12 Beta Sign-Up Page.
2. Now tap on View your Eligible Devices or scroll down to see them under the Your Eligible Devices.
Android 1: Privacy And Security
Google have made it a point this year of making sure that privacy is at the center of Android 12. The company repeated the point of privacy being at the forefront this year, and that includes Android 12.
The Android Private Compute Core is the engine behind Android 12’s privacy features, making sure that the apps and the phone are following the privacy settings enabled by you.
To start with, the new privacy dashboard gives you an overall view of apps using the phone’s location, camera, contacts, and much more.
However, a nice touch here is a simple overview in the form of a pie chart, of what has been accessed by the apps over the last 24 hours.
The notification center also has a quick access to disable any features of the phone that an app is using. For example, if Facebook is using the microphone while you’re using another app, this part of notification center will show you explicitly that Facebook is using the microphone. Pressing this will disable the use of it to Facebook, and other apps if you wish.
Adding to this, Android 12 will also ask you for permission from an app to use a feature of the phone. You can select to allow it while running the app, only once, or not at all.
You can also opt to only provide an approximate location to some apps, such as weather apps which don’t need to know exactly where you are.
There’s also locked folders, available across apps, which allow you to lock a specific folder with a fingerprint.
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Flash Your Device Using Android Flash Tool
Android Flash Tool lets you securely flash a system image to your supportedPixel device. Android Flash Tool works with any Web browser that supportsWebUSB, such as Chrome or Edge 79+.
Android Flash Tool guides you step-by-step through the process of flashingyour devicethere’s no need to have tools installedbut you will need to unlockyour device and enable USB Debugging in Developer options.