Android 12: Top 10 Features I Give a SH*T About

Material Design to Material You. Android users, this one’s for You.
Google

Whether you tuned into Google’s virtual I/O this year or not, one thing’s for certain: The UI overhaul is very welcome. I know most folks thought it was boring bits and that’s perhaps because of the high standard Apple has created when they put on an event. Try not to look at it through your Apple lenses, as a great toilet squad leader once said.

The new mobile OS is called “Material You“, which replaces Material Design. This updated Android interface redesign is bubbly, flowery, and packed with new color options to make it…You. But wait, there’s more! New ecosystem capabilities, privacy options, better performance and battery life are just a few more of the features Android 12 brings to its users.

All that being said, Google’s virtual I/O was still too intellectualized for my pea sized brain. Instead of detailing Google’s initiative about quantum computing and scary AI chat bots, I’ll gift you the top 10 features I actually give a sh*t about.

Numero Uno: Privacy and Security
New privacy options! My personal favorite because we all know Google is a whore when it comes to privacy. The new dashboard shows you which apps are accessing your personal data and how often. You can also revoke access if you find an app is being sketchy. A new indicator has been added to the top menu bar to show when an app is accessing your camera or microphone, and when you see it, you can swipe down from the top of the screen to view your quick settings panel and turn access off instantly.

Google

Numero 2: Still Privacy
Still stuck on the privacy thing so I make it my number two as well, also chef. Yes, THAT is how important privacy is to me.

Google

Numero 3: ???
Should I make privacy my number three too? Just kidding I won’t overdo the joke. Number 3 would be Material You as a whol, just kidding it’s privacy again. Oh! Did I mention apps using bluetooth will no longer require location info? No? well, it’s true. Instead, a new “approximate location” option prevents apps from knowing your exact location.

Google

Numero 4: Colors!
Coming in at number 4, Material You satisfies the senses, tidy’s things up, and brightens up your screen with a wide array of perfectly coordinated colors, allowing for more personalization of your device. A category that Apple probably falls short in, but hey, SiMpLiCiTy! With more personal and customizable color palettes, the new interface is powered by a “color extraction” API that can pull the colors out of your wallpaper and apply them to the UI. The demo interfaces featured customized highlight colors, clock faces, widget backgrounds, and more, all matching the color of your wallpaper. Looks fun!

Google

We also have buttons that are more rounded, colors of which there are more variations, motions and animations that are smoother than my butt.

Google

Numero Cinco de Mayo: Better performance and battery life.
Google has improved the performance and efficiency of the underlying systems of Android by up to 22%. That is 22% more efficiency for core system services and 15% for big-core usage in Android 12. All that means is apps should feel faster, while battery life should be longer. This is always a pretty sweet feature since I’ve always found battery life to be of upmost importance in my daily driver. Solution? bigger phone/battery, right? Wrong. Better performance, I say.

Numero 6: Speaking of big…
Big screens on phones are now easier to use one-handed in Android 12. For iPhone users, you have the reachability feature that makes one handedness much easier when you watch weird borderline illegal porn while you wank off. Or flick your bean, that’s fine too. Now, in Android 12 there’s a new one-handed mode feature that does the same thing. Turn it on by going to Settings > System > Gestures One-Handed Mode and slide the switch to the On position.

To use it, swipe down on the bar that’s at the bottom of your phone’s screen. That will pull the interface down to the middle of your display, putting whatever weird shit you’re watching at the top of your screen within reach.

Numero 8: New double tap gesture
Similar to the back tap gesture on an iPhone, you can now choose to double tap the back of your phone twice to take a screenshot access Google Assistant, play or pause media, see recent apps, show notifications or open a specific app.

Numero 9: Notifications
Although minor, there is still a smol overhaul for notifications in Android 12. Subtle as it is, it’s a nice change that makes notifications at a glance more comprehensive. It does this by increasing whitespace around notification elements and reducing visual clutter. They’ve also made notifications faster and more responsive. Collapsed notifications take up less vertical space, and expanded notifications take up a bit more vertical space. See moar, read less word.

Numero 10: New media player and options
Control which media apps appear in quick settings. Instead of allowing every app that plays audio or video to use the quick-settings media control panel, Android 12 adds the option to turn off individual apps. As for the media player, Google has enlarged it. It now spans almost the entire width of whoooooo cares!

Honorable Mention: Nearby share for WiFi passwords
This features could end up being pretty useful. What it does is allows you to quickly share your WiFi network details with folks in the same room as you. Whereas before you could use a QR scanner to share your WiFi details, if you look beneath that in Android 12 you now get the option that says ‘Nearby’. Once you tap on it, it will turn on Nearby sharing, look for devices near you, and finally let you choose who you share your network with.

When will Android 12 be available? Around September 2021. Public beta is already out but as with all beta’s proceed with caution. Google usually follows a pattern: In the first few months of the year, it launches a developer preview. This year was no different. It was originally released on 18 February 2021, before the second and third versions launched in March and April respectively. If you’re a member of the toilet squad, you got an early sneak peek.

So there you have it. The top 10 Android 12 features I give a sh*t about. What’s that? I missed “numero 7”? Ooops. It’s privacy.

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