Google is likely close to releasing the first developer beta of Android 12, but so far, we don’t really know a whole lot about the upcoming software update. That said, some screenshots have leaked, and we can use Google’s past behavior to make some educated guesses. Below is what we currently know, and what we currently think we know, about Android 12.
What’s it going to be called?
- Google has left its dessert naming scheme behind
- Numbers are the future, so we expect it’ll be called Android 12
With the release of Android 10 in 2019, Google announced it was no longer going to use dessert names for the yearly release of an Android update. Last year, Google released Android 11. So, by my count, that puts this year’s release at Android 12.
When will Android 12 be released?
- A developer beta could be released any day now
- Google usually follows the developer beta a few months later with a public beta
- An official release happens around August
The development process for each new version of Android is lengthy, with a developer beta usually being released early in the year. In 2020, Google released the first developer beta of Android 11 on Feb. 19. If Google follows that same timing, we could see Android 12 really soon.
The public beta, which allows anyone with a compatible Android phone like a Google Pixel or OnePlus phone, can sign up and help Google test the next version of Android.
An official release happens toward the end of the summer after developers have had time to get their apps ready for new APIs, and Google has time to finalize the build and get rid of any lingering bugs. Last year, Android 11 was released on Sept. 8.
What new features are coming to Android 12?
- There haven’t been too many leaks yet, so it’s still unclear
- However, some supposed screenshots tell us a lot
Google does a pretty good job of keeping new Android features under wraps until the developer beta is available. This year is no different, with very little info leaking about what’s in Android 12.
That said, XDA Developers recently published some screenshots that are reportedly from documents shared with Google’s partners to let them know what’s new in Android 12 so they can start preparing.
Looking at the screenshots, you can see that there’s a completely new look for widgets, similar to what widgets look like on iOS 14. There’s also a new color-coded privacy label that lights up the signal meter when the device’s microphone and camera have been or are being accessed by an app. Again, this is similar to the iOS feature that places a colored dot on the screen when an app has recently accessed or is currently using your microphone and camera.
As we learn more about Android 12, be it through leaks or an official announcement, we’ll keep updating this post.
What are you hoping to see in Android 12? More iOS-like features, or something different? Let us know in the comments below.