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Latest Version of Android

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. 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.

Android 12 is the latest Android version and already the third most popular Android version on smartphones at 11.97%. The first phones to have Android 12 were the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.

a) User interface

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

Android 12 also features native support for taking scrolling screenshots. In addition to the user interface, widgets on Android 12 are also updated with the new Material You design language.

b) Platform

Performance improvements have been made to system services such as the WindowManager, PackageManager, system server, and interrupts. It also adds accessibility improvements for those who are visually impaired. The Android Runtime has been added to Project Mainline, allowing it to be serviced via Play Store.

Android 12 adds support for spatial audio, and MPEG-H 3D Audio, and will support transcoding of HEVC video for backwards compatibility with apps which do not support it. A "rich content insertion" API eases the ability to transfer formatted text and media between apps, such as via the clipboard. Third party app stores now have the ability to update apps without constantly asking the user for permission.

c) Privacy

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

Apps requesting location data can now be restricted to having access only to "approximate" location data rather than "precise". 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.

Android Version History:

  1. Android 1.5, Cupcake: April 27, 2009

  2. Android 1.6, Donut: September 15, 2009

  3. Android 2.0-2.1, Eclair: October 26, 2009 (initial release)

  4. Android 2.2-2.2.3, Froyo: May 20, 2010 (initial release)

  5. Android 2.3-2.3.7, Gingerbread: December 6, 2010 (initial release)

  6. Android 3.0-3.2.6, Honeycomb: February 22, 2011 (initial release)

  7. Android 4.0-4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich: October 18, 2011 (initial release)

  8. Android 4.1-4.3.1, Jelly Bean: July 9, 2012 (initial release)

  9. Android 4.4-4.4.4, KitKat: October 31, 2013 (initial release)

  10. Android 5.0-5.1.1, Lollipop: November 12, 2014 (initial release)

  11. Android 6.0-6.0.1, Marshmallow: October 5, 2015 (initial release)

  12. Android 7.0-7.1.2, Nougat: August 22, 2016 (initial release)

  13. Android 8.0-8.1, Oreo: August 21, 2017 (initial release)

  14. Android 9.0, Pie: August 6, 2018

  15. Android 10.0: September 3, 2019

  16. Android 11.0: September 8, 2020

  17. Android 12.0: October 19, 2021


1. Wallpaper-based Dynamic Theming

The 'monet' dynamic theming engine is one of the highlights of Android 12 and what makes Material You so special. The engine will pull the colors from the wallpaper applied and use them throughout the UI and system accents for theming purposes. What makes the experience even better is that the colors are also applied to apps that have been updated to support the theming engine.

2. Game Dashboard

A Pixel-exclusive Android 12 feature for now, Game Dashboard aims to improve your gaming experience by overlaying some important tools and information, like the ability to record your gameplay, streaming your gaming session on YouTube, or displaying a live FPS counter so that you can get an idea of how your phone is performing.

3. One-handed mode

Taking a cue from third-party Android skins, Google has added a native one-handed mode in Android 12. As the name indicates, the feature makes it easy to use your phone with one hand — a boon for devices with large displays and gargantuan size like the Pixel 6 Pro.

4. Quick Tap

Taking a cue from the Back Tap gesture in iOS 14, Google has introduced a new Quick Tap feature in Android 12. With a simple double-tap on the back of your phone, you can launch an app of your choice, control media playback, take a screenshot, show recent apps, and trigger Google Assistant.

The Quick Tap gesture is tucked under Settings > System > Gestures in Android 12.

5. Direct share in the Recents overview menu

The quick image sharing feature from the Recents overview menu has been further improved in Android 12. Now when you simply drag-and-drop images from Instagram, a web page in Chrome, or other similar apps, a list of your recommended contacts will show up at the bottom for quick and easy sharing. This makes the entire process of sharing content from the Recents overview more streamlined and convenient.

6. Privacy Dashboard

Google is once again stepping up its efforts in the privacy department with the Privacy dashboard, which will give you an overview of which apps have accessed your location data, camera, microphone, and other such permissions over the last 24 hours. You get a complete breakdown, right down to the minute when an app uses a particular permission.

7. Dim the screen

If you find your phone's screen brightness a bit too bright even at the lowest setting possible, there's a new Extra Dim option in Android 12 that further dims the screen. This is great for anyone who tends to stare at their phone's display in a dark room, as the extra-low brightness will help reduce the strain on their eyes.

You can find the option tucked under Settings > Accessibility > Extra dim. Alternatively, there's a Quick Settings tile for it as well.

8. Conversation widget

Google gave widgets a major revamp in Android 12 and added a handy Conversation widget to go along with it. The widget will help you access your most frequent conversations in just a tap, irrespective of the app you use.

Below is how you can add a Conversation widget to your home screen:

  1. Long-press on an empty area of your home screen. From the menu that pops up, select Widgets .

  2. Scroll down and select Conversation, followed by the Conversation widget.

  3. You can resize the widget as per your liking. Now, select a recent conversation that you'd like to show in the widget. You can then quickly access the conversation by simply tapping on it.

9. Scrolling screenshots

This is a feature that Google has taken ages to bring to its flavor of Android. Gone are the days when just taking a screenshot would suffice — users now frequently need to screenshot long lists. With scrolling screenshots, you'll no longer have to take multiple screenshots to capture a long list. Instead, take a screenshot and from the toolbar tip that pops up at the bottom, tap Capture more. Remember that this option will only show up in lists or where it is actually possible to take a long screenshot.

Resource: Wikipedia

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