After much wait and numerous leaks, Google finally released the first public beta build of Android 12. This generation of the os brings many big changes, including a complete visual overhaul of the stock android experience. The Android UI has remained largely unchanged since the introduction of Materiel UI with Android Lollipopall the way back in 2014.
If you are excited to try out the new os and have a compatible device, you should first understand that this is a beta build that means that it may have random bugs and may not be totally stable for daily use. So, if you choose to install it on your device be aware of this. Some Oneplus 9 series users have been reporting bricked devices and unusable experience for those who have it installed.
With that said, let’s see what the Android 12 has to offer.
New quick settings and settings menu
With this release, we now have official confirmation of the leaked Android 12 screenshots that we posted in a previous article. Google has bought some big changes to the UI. Google calls this new design language “Material YOU”.
The quick settings panel has been revamped with large tiles replacing the previous small toggles. These tiles are much more prominent and display a complete toggle label with some additional information. The volume panel is now a thick bar with new animations while toggling between different sound profiles
The settings menu has also seen some changes with the design now being more geared towards one-handed usage. This is a good and useful design decision with smartphone screens getting bigger by the day. The dashboard is also simpler with just the menu names and no longer includes information about the submenus. This is reminiscent of Samsung's One UI, arguably one of the best android skins currently available.
Android 12 has introduced many new animations throughout the OS. There are various little animations now for various actions like swiping away notifications, ringer toggle, or selecting a menu. This makes the whole experience nicer and the system feels more alive.
The animations now are also more dynamic with multiple animations for the same actions with different triggers. For example, charging the device via the USB at the bottom generated a ripple animation from the bottom while charging using a wireless charger generated from the centre. Another cool dynamic effect is waking up the screen as it wakes up from the side while using the power button and using double tap wakes it from the site of the tap.
The lock screen has also been revamped and brings some big changes, literally. The digital clock shown is now huge and covers the whole screen when there are no notifications and shrinks to a smaller size when they arrive. The pattern input now shows a very thick line. The pin pad has also been redesigned with circles encasing the numbers and input buttons.
The lock screen was the one element that had seen the least changes since Android 5 and while simple, had started looking dated.
A game mode
This build also includes a native game mode that has toggles for FPS counter, DND, screen recording streaming and game optimizations. While the mode is non-functional as of now, we expect it to gain additional features in the upcoming build. Or it may get nuked.
Google will be adding many features and may even remove some before the public release later this year. The company is making bold moves with this release and there are already mixed reactions from the public. The android platform was due for a change and this one is certainly welcome.