The third Android 12 Developer Preview brings full circle the design changes that were leaked, but not yet 100% ready in the previous betas. One of the changes was a new conversations widget that, at last, seems to be available for users and developers to try out.
The conversations widget appears in Android 12 DP3 as selectable in the widget list and includes for the time being what was promised: a custom way to add your favorite chats to the home screen. While it doesn’t appear to be 100% functional yet, we can get a good idea of what it will look like.
Android 12 conversation widget design
Except for some minor versions with corrections, Android 12 DP3 is expected to be the last Developer Preview. After that will come the first beta version of Android 12, sometime in May, intended for end-users who want to test the operating system. By then, Google needs to have finalized or almost finalized important parts of the redesign of Android 12, including the new conversations widget.
We met this widget in the leak before the first Android 12 DP, but until now it could not be tested. The widget already appears, at least for some users, in the widget selector, under System UI. It is called Conversation and has a standard size of 2×1 blocks.
When trying to add this widget to the home screen, a selection window is displayed where the latest conversations that have arrived on the mobile are included. Chats from messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, SMS, and co. are included and Google’s description indicates that data such as missed calls and status changes will also be included.
The widget represents a single chat, so if you want to create a collage with several conversations you will have to repeat the process several times. Also, the widget has a default size of 2×1 and, in our tests, its appearance at first is a bit chaotic in this first version.
The trick is to resize the widget, which is flexible and can be anything from a small icon to a single line or multiple lines. The widget can be resized by long-tapping on it until the sliders appear to change their size.
As for the content, what you see in the widget is the same as what comes out in the notifications, so as soon as you close the notification, the text of the message is removed from the widget. That is, if someone writes to you on Telegram, you can read that message in the widget as long as the notification is still there.
When there are multiple messages, they are not displayed one after the other as happens for example with the official WhatsApp widget. Instead, it shows the last message that has arrived and a number indicating how many messages are pending. The widget at the moment does not work well when tapping on a conversation and is that we must remember that we are still in an early version of Android. Everything may change between now and the final version.