Google announced exactly a year after its first developer preview of Android 11. The company released the first developer preview of Android 12. Google took time to launch Android 11 a bit as the company’s partners adjusted to working during a COVID-19, but it looks like that didn’t stop it from keeping Android 12 on schedule.
As users would expect from an early developer preview, most of the changes here are under the hood, and there’s no update yet for intrepid non-developers who want to give it a turn.
Among all the highlights of the release so far — and it’s mandated to note that Google aims to add more user-facing changes and UI updates throughout the preview cycle and has the ability to transcode media into upgraded-quality formats like the AV1 image format, faster and more responsive notifications and an updated feature for developers that now makes individual changes in the platform togglable so they can easily test the compatibility of their apps. Google also promises that just like Android 11, it’ll add a Platform Stability milestone to Android 12 to give developers advance notice when final app-facing changes will occur in the development cycle of the operating system. Last year, the team hit that milestone in July when it announced its second beta release.
Google Vice President of Engineering Dave Burke writes that with every version, they are working to make the OS smarter, relatively easy to use for the users, and better performing, with security and privacy at the core. In Android 12, they are also working to give new tools for building great experiences for users. And starting with things like compatible media transcoding, which helps users app to work with the latest video formats if they don’t already support them, and easier copy/paste of rich content into their apps, like images and videos. They are also adding privacy protections, refreshing the UI, and optimizing performance to keep consumer apps responsive.