A month after the launch of Android 12 Developer Preview Google launches its second preview, a new preview of what we will find when the new version of its operating system arrives at the end of the year.
In the announcement of Android 12 Developer Preview 2, as usual, Google limits itself to announcing the new features that are intended for application developers. The new features that have to do with new functions will have to be discovered over the coming hours and days.
What’s new in Android 12 Developer Preview 2?
With Android 12 Developer Preview 2, Google advances that it wants its operating system to be smarter, easier to use, offering the best performance, privacy, and security at the center. Also, it advances that we could find a redesigned interface in the final version of Android 12.
Trust and security
The Android team remains focused on adding more transparency and control to their operating system while keeping our devices and data as secure as possible. In this second preview, the new features related to this aspect are as follows:
- App overlay controls: The operating system allows apps with permission to draw users’ attention to important actions by displaying an alert window overlaying the app we are using, interrupting the user. Now in Android 12, they release new permission for apps to prevent a window from getting in the way of their view, especially when displaying sensitive screens, such as transaction confirmation.
- Expanded security for lock screen notification actions: This new preview release improves security and privacy controls for lock screen notifications. Developers can now configure the notification actions that can be performed on the lock screen when the user has not yet authenticated. For example, this will allow a messaging app to require authentication before deleting a message or marking it as read.
More tools to improve user experience
Google continues to work to offer developers more tools to help developers improve their applications and thus offer a better experience and performance. To that end, they are launching these new features today:
- Compatibility with rounded corners: Although cell phones with rounded corners have been on the market for more than three years, the Android operating system still did not offer developers an API to adapt their applications to rounded corners, which in some cell phones can eat information or leave little air for icons or text. With the RoundedCorner API, developers will be able to know the size of the curvature of the corners.
- Picture-in-Picture (PIP) improvements: Google improves the PIP mode transition for people using gesture navigation. The system now automatically switches the app to PIP mode on the home screen without having to wait for the startup animation to complete. Also, improve the size of PIP mode for non-video apps and new gestures let us hide the PIP window by sliding it to the sides.
- Keeping wearable apps active: A new API will allow smartwatches and fitness trackers to make sure their companion app is running on the device so that everything works properly. If your app is closed you will be able to run it, and if the wearable is disconnected or turned off, the app will stop running.
- Bandwidth estimation improvements: Google has improved the bandwidth estimation API to allow developers to get an estimate of performance by Wi-Fi carrier or SSID, network type, and signal level for all users on the device.
- Blurs, color filters, and other effects made easier: Developers now have a new API to apply graphical effects to their application views. For example, they will be able to apply blurs, color filters, and more. This new feature could point to the fact that Google** could redesign Android 12 to apply these effects to its interface.
Now available on Google Pixel
This new preview is already available for the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 4 and 4 XL, Pixel 4a and 4a 5G and Pixel 5. If you already had Android 12 Developer Preview installed you just have to wait for the OTA update. If you do not yet have Android 12 Preview and want to try this new version you will have to manually update (blurs, color filters).
Next April, probably in the middle of the month, Google will launch Android 12 Developer Preview 3. It would be the third and last preview intended for developers. In May, Android 12 Beta will be released and available for users.