Android 12
Version of the Android operating system
Android 12 Logo.svg
Screenshot
Android 12 screenshot.png
Android 12 home screen with Pixel Launcher
DeveloperGoogle
OS familyAndroid
General
availability
October 4, 2021; 19 months ago (2021-10-04)[1]
Latest release12.0.0_r47 (SSV1.210916.065)[2] / May 1, 2023; 17 days ago (2023-05-01)
Kernel typeMonolithic kernel (Linux kernel)
Preceded byAndroid 11
Succeeded byAndroid 13
Official websitewww.android.com/android-12/ Edit this at Wikidata
Support status
Supported[3]

Android 12 is the twelfth major release and 19th version of Android, the mobile operating system developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google.[4] The first beta was released on May 18, 2021. Android 12 was released publicly on October 4, 2021, through Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and was released to supported Google Pixel devices on October 19, 2021.[5][1][6]

As of March 2023 Android 12 is the most widely-used version of Android, with 22.49% of devices having the operating system installed.[7] The first phones to have Android 12 were the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.

History

Android 12 logo for Developer preview and Beta release
Android 12 logo for Developer preview and Beta release

Android 12 (internally codenamed Snow Cone)[8] was announced in an Android blog posted on February 18, 2021.[9] A developer preview was released immediately,[10][11] with two additional ones planned the following two months. After that, four monthly beta releases were planned, beginning in May, the last one of them reaching platform stability in August, with general availability coming shortly after that.[12]

The second developer preview was released on March 17, 2021,[13] followed by a third preview on April 21, 2021.[14] The first beta build was then released on May 18, 2021.[5] It was followed by beta 2 on June 9, 2021,[15] which got a bugfix update to 2.1 on June 23.[16] Then beta 3 was released on July 14, 2021,[17] getting a bugfix update to beta 3.1 on July 26.[18] Beta 4 was released on August 11, 2021.[19] A fifth beta, not planned in the original roadmap, was released on September 8, 2021.[20] Android 12 stable got released on the Android Open Source Project on October 4,[1] getting its public over-the-air rollout on October 19, coinciding with the launch event for the Pixel 6.[21]

Android 12.1/12L

In October 2021, Google announced Android 12L, an interim release of Android 12 including improvements specific for foldable phones, tablets, desktop-sized screens[22] and Chromebooks, and modifications to the user interface to tailor it to larger screens. It was planned to launch in early 2022.[23][24] Developer Preview 1 of Android 12L was released in October 2021, followed by Beta 1 in December 2021, Beta 2 in January 2022, and Beta 3 in February 2022.[25] The stable version of Android 12L was released for devices with large screens on March 7, 2022, and was released as "Android 12.1" for Pixel smartphones on the same date, besides the Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro.[26]

Features

See also: Android version history § Android 12

User interface

Android 12 introduces a major refresh to the operating system's Material Design language branded as "Material You", which features larger buttons, increased use of animation, and a new style for home screen widgets. A feature, internally codenamed "monet",[27] allows the operating system to automatically generate a color theme for system menus and supported apps using the colors of the user's wallpaper.[28][29]

The smart home and Wallet areas added to the power menu on Android 11 have been relocated to the notification shade, while Google Assistant is now activated by holding the power button.[28] Android 12 features native support for taking scrolling screenshots.[28][30]

The screen magnifier feature now allows partial magnification via a floating window, and can also be configured to follow text inputs.[31][32]

Platform

Performance improvements have been made to system services such as the window and package managers.[28][30] The Android Runtime has been added to Project Mainline, allowing it to be serviced via Play Store.[30]

Android 12 adds support for spatial audio, and MPEG-H 3D Audio, and supports transcoding of HEVC video for backwards compatibility with apps which do not support it.[30] A new API known as HapticGenerator allows the OS to generate haptic feedback from audio on compatible devices.[33]

A "rich content insertion" API eases the ability to transfer formatted text and media between apps, such as via the clipboard.[30] Third party app stores now have the ability to update apps without constantly asking the user for permission.[34]

Privacy

OS-level machine learning functions are sandboxed within the "Android Private Compute Core", which is expressly prohibited from accessing networks.[28]

Apps requesting location data can now be restricted to having access only to "approximate" location data rather than "precise".[28] Controls to prevent apps from using the camera and microphone system-wide have been added to the quick settings toggles. An indicator will also be displayed on-screen if they are active.[28]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Android 12 has been released to the Android Open Source Project". Engadget. October 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "Android Source". Google Git. November 7, 2021.
  3. ^ "Android Security Bulletin—February 2023".
  4. ^ "Android 12". Android Developers. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "What's new in Android 12 Beta". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Bonifacic, I. (October 19, 2021). "Google's brand new Android 12 operating system launches today". TechCrunch.
  7. ^ "Mobile Android Version Market Share Worldwide". StatCounter Global Stats. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  8. ^ "Android 12's dessert name is confirmed to be Snow Cone". October 4, 2021.
  9. ^ "First preview of Android 12". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  10. ^ "Developer Android first Android 12 Dp1". February 18, 2021.
  11. ^ "First Android 12 DP 1". February 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Android 12 Developer Preview". Android Developers. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  13. ^ "Android 12 Developer Preview 2". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  14. ^ "Android 12 Developer Preview 3". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "Android 12 Beta 2 Update". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  16. ^ "Google releases Android 12 Beta 2.1 with bug fixes". gsmarena.com. June 23, 2021.
  17. ^ "Android 12 Beta 3 and final APIs". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  18. ^ "Android 12 Beta 3.1 rolling out with Pixel bug fixes". July 26, 2021.
  19. ^ "Android 12 Beta 4 promotes order over chaos". The Verge. August 11, 2021.
  20. ^ "Android 12 Beta 5 update, official release is next!".
  21. ^ "Android 12 gets a surprise release today alongside the Pixel 6 debut". October 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "12L and new Android APIs and tools for large screens". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  23. ^ Mihalcik, Carrie (October 27, 2021). "Google Android 12L update will bring improved features to tablets, foldable phones". CNET. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Li, Abner (October 27, 2021). "Google unveils Android 12L for foldables, tablets, & Chrome OS; emulator developer preview today". 9to5Google. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  25. ^ "12L Developer Preview". Android Developers.
  26. ^ Amadeo, Ron (March 7, 2022). "Android 12L is official as "Android 12.1," rolling out now to Pixel phones released after 2018". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  27. ^ "Android 12 automatically themes your UX from your wallpaper". xda-developers. May 18, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Bohn, Dieter (May 18, 2021). "Android 12 preview: first look at Google's radical new design". The Verge. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  29. ^ "Android 12's new Material You UI is partly live in the first beta". Android Police. May 18, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  30. ^ a b c d e Bohn, Dieter (February 18, 2021). "Android 12 developer preview is available now with many under-the-hood updates". The Verge. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  31. ^ Vonau, Manuel (March 21, 2022). "Android 13 DP2 introduces a long-overdue change to the magnifier tool". Android Police. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  32. ^ Schoon, Ben (February 19, 2021). "Android 12 DP1: Magnification feature now offers a useful floating window". 9to5Google. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  33. ^ Hildenbr, Jerry (March 1, 2021). "Android 12 features we love: Haptics and audio can work together". Android Central. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  34. ^ "Android 12 will finally let alternative app stores update apps on their own". xda-developers. May 20, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.