Canceled in 2020, the Google I / O conference returned to a virtual format this year. The opportunity for the Mountain View firm to discuss its latest projects, starting with Android 12. Google’s developer conference has returned in an online-only format, a year after it was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2021 edition of Google I / O was therefore eagerly awaited by developers and the general public for whom it is the opportunity to discover, in preview, the new projects of the Internet giant.
We are starting with Android 12, which is the subject of numerous improvements in interface and functionality. Particular emphasis is placed on the protection of privacy. Since its inception, Android has been renowned for its openness and ability to be drastically changed instead of the closed aspect of iOS.
Google intends to keep this spirit and emphasizes personalization with Android 12, a concept that should allow its system – now present on more than 3 billion active devices in the world – to stand out. Mountain View promises “a more personal experience” and delivers a first beta version that gives an overview of the features coming soon.
Google claims to have redesigned the whole experience to make it possible to match the colors of the menus with the dominant colors of the wallpaper. The system will automatically determine which colors to apply to different elements like the notification screen, lock screen, volume controls, or widgets.
Somewhat neglected in recent years, widgets – which have been present since the beginnings of Android – should also regain their splendor with Android 12. A decision that echoes Apple’s desire to relaunch these interactive thumbnails. Still, on the visual level, Android 12 promises smooth movements and animations.
This interface is called Material. You will also make some adjustments to the notification screen or quick settings. Note that as with Material Design, this new interface should apply to the entire Google ecosystem.
A More Secure Version
If the first changes to Android 12 are visual, Google plans once again to focus on security. The theme is recurrent on the side of Mountain View, which seeks to be more transparent, thanks in particular to the “Privacy dashboard.”
This new dashboard will make it possible to monitor at a glance the access granted to applications (location, camera, microphone, etc.), but also the frequency with which they access them.
This approach will allow them to control the applications present in their smartphone better and, if necessary, to revoke the authorizations granted from this dashboard easily. Like iOS 14, a visual indicator located at the top right of the status bar will let you know if an application is accessing the microphone or the camera.
In the same spirit, Android 12 will review its copy in terms of geolocation. Google wants to give “more control over the amount of information you share with applications,” including approximate location. “For example, weather applications do not need your precise location to provide an accurate forecast,” said the California giant.
With this preview, Google confirms its desire to strengthen privacy and smoothly evolve its operating system. It will be necessary to wait until the beginning of autumn to discover the final version of Android 12.
Until then, the beta versions will follow one another on the eligible Pixels and Asus, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Vivo, or even Xiaomi smartphones. In total, eleven manufacturers are affected by this “Beta 1”.