Android 12
Version of the Android operating system
Screenshot
Android 12 home screen with Pixel Launcher
DeveloperGoogle
OS familyAndroid
General
availability
October 4, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-10-04)[1]
Latest release12.0.0_r54 (SSV1.210916.082)[2] / December 4, 2023; 26 days ago (2023-12-04)
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 November 2023, Android 12 is the 2nd most widely-used version of Android, with 18% market share (slightly ahead of Android 11, but far behind of Android 13),[7] with 682 million of devices. The first phones to have Android 12 were the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

History

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.[14] The first beta build was then released on May 18, 2021.[5] It was followed by beta 2 on June 9,[15] which got a bug-fix update to 2.1 on June 23.[16] The third beta was released on July 14,[17] getting a bug-fix update to 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's stable version was released on the Android Open Source Project on October 4 before getting its public over-the-air rollout on October 19, coinciding with the launch event for the Pixel 6.[1][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. Archived from the original on April 29, 2022. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  2. ^ "Android security 12.0.0 release 54". Google Git.
  3. ^ "Android Security Bulletin—February 2023". Archived from the original on February 14, 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  4. ^ "Android 12". Android Developers. Archived from the original on February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "What's new in Android 12 Beta". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on June 22, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Bonifacic, I. (October 19, 2021). "Google's brand new Android 12 operating system launches today". TechCrunch.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Mobile & Tablet Android Version Market Share Worldwide". StatCounter Global Stats. Retrieved August 11, 2023.
  8. ^ "Android 12's dessert name is confirmed to be Snow Cone". October 4, 2021. Archived from the original on April 20, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  9. ^ "First preview of Android 12". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  10. ^ "Developer Android first Android 12 Dp1". February 18, 2021. Archived from the original on February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  11. ^ "First Android 12 DP 1". February 23, 2021. Archived from the original on May 8, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  12. ^ "Android 12 Developer Preview". Android Developers. Archived from the original on May 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  13. ^ "Android 12 Developer Preview 2". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  14. ^ "Android 12 Developer Preview 3". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on June 10, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "Android 12 Beta 2 Update". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on June 21, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  16. ^ "Google releases Android 12 Beta 2.1 with bug fixes". gsmarena.com. June 23, 2021. Archived from the original on August 11, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "Android 12 Beta 3 and final APIs". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  18. ^ "Android 12 Beta 3.1 rolling out with Pixel bug fixes". July 26, 2021. Archived from the original on August 11, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  19. ^ "Android 12 Beta 4 promotes order over chaos". The Verge. August 11, 2021. Archived from the original on August 11, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  20. ^ "Android 12 Beta 5 update, official release is next!". Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  21. ^ "Android 12 gets a surprise release today alongside the Pixel 6 debut". October 19, 2021. Archived from the original on October 19, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  22. ^ "12L and new Android APIs and tools for large screens". Android Developers Blog. Archived from the original on July 22, 2022. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  23. ^ Mihalcik, Carrie (October 27, 2021). "Google Android 12L update will bring improved features to tablets, foldable phones". CNET. Archived from the original on November 2, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Li, Abner (October 27, 2021). "Google unveils Android 12L for foldables, tablets, & Chrome OS; emulator developer preview today". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on November 3, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  25. ^ "12L Developer Preview". Android Developers. Archived from the original on December 2, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  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. Archived from the original on April 23, 2022. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  27. ^ "Android 12 automatically themes your UX from your wallpaper". xda-developers. May 18, 2021. Archived from the original on May 19, 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. Archived from the original on May 22, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  29. ^ "Android 12's new Material You UI is partly live in the first beta". Android Police. May 18, 2021. Archived from the original on May 20, 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. Archived from the original on May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  31. ^ Vonau, Manuel (March 21, 2022). "Android 13 DP2 introduces a long-overdue change to the magnifier tool". Android Police. Archived from the original on October 28, 2022. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  32. ^ Schoon, Ben (February 19, 2021). "Android 12 DP1: Magnification feature now offers a useful floating window". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on October 28, 2022. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  33. ^ Hildenbr, Jerry (March 1, 2021). "Android 12 features we love: Haptics and audio can work together". Android Central. Archived from the original on October 28, 2022. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  34. ^ "Android 12 will finally let alternative app stores update apps on their own". xda-developers. May 20, 2021. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved September 21, 2021.