Applications can be “deceived” by inaccurate geolocation, and the camera and microphone can be completely disabled through quick settings.
The twelfth version of the operating system from Google is available in the form of universal ready-made assemblies for ARM64 and x86-64 devices. Android 12 source codes can be obtained from the project’s Git repository.
In the coming weeks, the owners of Google Pixel smartphones will receive a new version of Android through system updates, and by the end of the year — users of various models of Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo and Xiaomi.
Material You — a new generation of Material Design style
This is one of the biggest design updates in Android history. The system has started to take into account rounded corners of the screen on some devices. Widgets have become more distinct and rounded, as well as interactive checkboxes and radio buttons. Now the user does not need to open the application to edit the list of scheduled tasks — he can do it right in the widget. When the application is launched from the widget, it “opens” through a smooth animation.
Android 12 has received new animated effects based on smooth zooming and shifting areas. The system can dynamically adjust the colors of widgets, volume control, notification area, lock screen and all other interface elements to the palette of the background image. Separately, widgets can adapt their colors to the selected design theme.
The drop-down notification area has been completely redesigned. In the quick settings, a menu for switching between Internet providers, smart home management options and Google Pay payments appeared. Notifications from applications now correspond to the system design theme and cannot use their own styles.
The automatic screen rotation function is able to “understand” with the help of the front camera when the user is lying down and therefore the screen does not need to be rotated — however, this option still works only on Google Pixel 4 and later models.
The new API of the system makes it easier for developers to use graphic effects like dynamic colors, translucency and blurring, and also makes it possible to take screenshots of scrollable areas that are not visible on the screen at the time of the snapshot. The system interface is adapted to devices with folding screens.
Stricter and more centralized access control
The new version of Android has received a single Privacy Dashboard interface for managing application access rights. You can also see which programs accessed the microphone, camera and geographical location, when and for what reasons.
When the application starts working with the camera or microphone, the corresponding indicators appear on the top panel. By clicking on the indicator, you can find out the name of the application and deprive it of access to the equipment. The microphone and camera can be forcibly disabled through the quick settings of the notification area, while the system starts transmitting empty data to applications instead of an audio or video stream.
Android 12 is able to “trick” apps by giving them an approximate location instead of precise geolocation. The user can restrict access to the location only to an active work session to prevent the application from tracking geolocation in the background. If an application tries to read data copied in another application in the clipboard, the system shows a notification at the bottom of the screen.
Performance and responsiveness optimizations
The main system services in Android 12 began to load the processor by 22% less — only because of this the smartphone will be able to work 15% longer.
For long-unused applications, a disabled hibernation mode is provided — it automatically resets the granted access rights, frees up resources, stops and blocks all processes and notifications of the application.
Notifications have become more responsive — now, when clicked, the corresponding application opens instantly, since the system developers have limited the number of intermediate handlers.
Switching between applications is accelerated thanks to lightweight caching in the Android interprocess communication mechanism — its work has become from two to 47 times faster.
Applications have become faster to launch thanks to improved processing of dex, odex and vdex files — for example, the launch time of Google Photos has been reduced by a third.
Small application queries to databases are accelerated by 36%, and queries with sets of more than a thousand rows are accelerated by 49 times.
The screen rotation animation has been optimized, which has reduced the delay before this operation by 25%;
The system has received a new fast AppSearch search engine with full-text indexing and ranking of search results.
The Game Mode API has appeared, through which the game can request maximum performance at the cost of increased battery consumption, or vice versa, reduce FPS and extend the operating time of the device.
On Android 12, you can start playing even before all the resources of the game are fully loaded thanks to the play-as-you-download function — it loads the necessary resources in the background.