Google has finally released the first Android 12 Beta at Google I/O 2021. The latest version of Android has been in three Developer Preview builds prior to the first beta launch.
Currently, Android 12 Beta 1 is supported by the following Pixel devices: the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. If you have one of these devices, you can enroll yourself with Google to get Android 12 Beta updates over-the-air directly to your smartphone.
Android 12 is the biggest redesign to Android. It features a new “color extraction” feature that changes the theme of your phone based on your current wallpaper. It uses a clustering algorithm with material color targets to tell which color is dominant and which are less dominant and applies these to match your wallpaper. In addition, Android 12 has a new notification panel.
It also introduces a new dynamic lighting which expands your lock screen from darkness based on where you unlock your phone. In addition, the lock screen includes a new button for Quick Wallet Access.
The Quick Settings space also now includes Google Pay and Home controls. Google Assistant has been added to the power button via a long-press.
New privacy features are also a notable addition to Android 12. Among these includes a new privacy dashboard so you can see which apps are using a particular permission. It also gives easy access to manage that permission. It adds in privacy indicators that appear on the top right to see when an app is using your camera or microphone. The new Quick Settings also gives you the ability to disable camera or microphone access as well.
Performance has also been improved with a reduced CPU time of the system server process by 22%.
Because it is the first Beta, new features can be added or removed depending on Google.