Google just held their annual developer conference, Google I/O 2021. The company skipped I/O last year so there’s a lot to catch up on.

Among the many more or less interesting news from the technology giant Google, the new version of Android is the one that interests the most. There are over 3 billion smartphones running on Android, making it the most popular smartphone operating system.

Google actually released Android 12 in beta mode, but not everyone wants a beta version on their phone, nor can all phones run it, so we’re guessing most people would prefer reading about the upcoming changes while waiting for the stable release.

Android 12 gets a fresh appearance. we get bigger buttons, rounder edges, and more use of colors. Animations and movements will become softer and smoother at the same time,

You can set a photo as your background and the system will automatically create a custom palette based on the colors in it and uses the hues across the interface.

These colors can then be spread throughout the operating system and can be applied to alerts, the lock screen, and as well as volume control or widgets. Users can even choose their own color swatches, contrast, element sizes, line widths, and more. (Samsung One UI 3 has all these customizations)

We will also get a new widget system, which hopefully means there will be a more unified look. The new design system is known as “Material You”. The ambitious vision for Material You is a multi-year journey that will evolve all of Google’s products and ecosystems.

It’s also worth mentioning that a long press on the power button in Android 12 will activate Google Assistant, which will then be able to assist you in all sorts of tasks. I know this is already in use on several phones, similar to Apple’s iOS/iPad OS, but will now become an Android standard.

There has also been an increasing focus on creating systems that safeguard the security and private data in the digital world. With Android 12, Google promises that it will be easier to get an overview of which apps have access to such data, and to a greater extent enable you to choose how much data the various apps will have access to. The new separated “Privacy Dashboard” will ensure that most of such privacy settings can be toggled from a single starting point. For apps that want to know where you are, it will also be possible to share your approximate location, as opposed to your exact location.

Notifications in the status bar will tell you when an app has been given access to use the camera or microphone. You will also be given the ability to block both cameras and microphones from being used by the system.

According to Google’s own schedule, Android 12 will not be released until sometime this fall.

And even then, it is highly uncertain if and when it will reach your phone. For old phones or models that run heavily modified versions of Android, it is less certain you will be able to get Android 12 this year, as it often takes a lot of time to modify for release.

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