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Android 12 Developer Preview 3 Release and Features

Google has released the third developer preview for Android 12, with several new features that improve upon what the company has shown off over the past few months. The latest release is right on schedule for Google’s launch timeline and precedes a beta launch scheduled for May.

What’s New?

Within the patch notes Google has introduced updates that allow developers to get more out of a smartphone’s camera and haptic hardware. On the haptic front, Google is providing more feedback options for UI events, gaming, and productivity.

All the new user-facing features:

  • New Accent Color

  • Lock Screen

  • Notifications and Quick Settings Changes

  • Accessibility Settings Changes

  • Bigger Toggles in Settings

  • Improvements in One-Handed Usability

  • Emojis on Screenshot Markup

  • Edit option in Share Sheet

  • Notifications Snooze

  • Media Control Changes

  • Nearby Share for Wi-Fi Passwords

  • Redirect Vibration to Gaming Controllers

  • Permission Dialog Changes

  • Emergency SOS

  • Reset Notification Ranking

All the new in-development features:

  • Experimental: New Lock screen and Notification UI

  • “Silky Home” for further improvements in One-Handed Usability

  • Wallpaper-based Expanded Theming System

  • Dedicated One-Handed Mode

  • Scrolling Screenshots

  • Improved Widgets: Widget Stacking, Conversation Widget

  • Swipe Down Gesture for Notification Shade

  • “Automatic” sound status for notifications

  • Picture-in-Picture Improvements

  • Privacy Indicators: Explicit Warnings, Hidden Quick Settings Tiles

  • Permission Management Hub Dashboard

  • Better Split Screen Multitasking with App Pairs

  • Machine Learning for Side-swipe Back Gesture

  • Game Mode and Gaming Toolbar

  • Pixel 5 Specific: Double Tap Back Gesture

All the new user-facing features:

  • Dark Theme with light grey colour

  • Dedicated One-Handed Mode is now live

  • Swipe Down Gesture for Notification Shade is now live

  • New widget picker

  • Choosing individual apps bridged to notification listeners

  • Smart Forwarding for calls

  • Tweaks to PIN and Pattern Lock screen

  • Media Player follows system accent colour

All the new in-development features:

  • New Search Widget in Pixel Launcher

  • Taskbar for large screen devices

  • Face-based Auto Rotation

  • Conversation/People Space Widget Picker

  • Revamped PIN view

  • Enhanced Monet Theming System

  • New Toast Message UI

  • New Lock Screen Open/Close Animation

  • New Over scroll and Ripple Animations

  • Camera and Microphone Privacy Indicators

A Redesigned Game Mode?

One of the new effects is called “low tack,” which Google said takes advantage of the broader frequency bandwidth of the latest actuators. In games, developers can now access various, different actuators independently within the game controllers to deliver the same effect synchronously or different haptic effects on multiple actuators.

Google’s Android 12 Developer Preview 3 also introduces improved camera support, including ultra-high-resolution camera sensors (48mp-108mp). Google said Android 12 will introduce new platform APIs that let third-party apps take full advantage of these versatile sensors. That will hopefully mean better performance from third-party camera apps and better optimization.

You can also see certain UI portions have greater prominence including the "Edit," "Settings," and "Power" toggles - the latter option being a brand-new toggle. The brightness control slider has also had an overhaul to match or at least follow the new "bubbly" system UI design and feel. It would be easy to note the similarities between the rounded corners and those of iOS, but there is much more utility on offer here.

Google’s developer preview 3 of Android 12 also makes some tweaks to the app launch experience, and there’s a new call notification animation. Google said there’s a new app launch animation for all apps from the point of launch, a splash screen showing the app icon, and a transition to the app itself. This means there are now standard design elements to every app launch, but Google said it’s also customizable so developers can maintain their unique branding. It’s an innovative approach for enhancing user interface especially for application developers from reputed companies.

Google said that the newest preview also introduces improved call notifications. Now, incoming calls will have more visibility and scan-ability and improve their consistency with other notification components. There’s a lot more in Android 12 Developer Preview 3, including new permissions for exact alarms, improved web linking, and faster machine learning, among many more features.

Where Can You Check Eligibility for Your Pixel Device?

You can grab new latest preview from Google’s developer site for the Pixel 3 and newer, and it’s also available via the Android Emulator.

Further Google Events

If all goes according to plan, Google should release a few Android 12 betas over the summer before reaching platform stability in August, followed by a wider rollout in September. Google has an I/O event planned for next month, so it won’t be much longer before we learn even more about Android 12 and its upcoming features.

SIddhant Sundar

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