Google Announces First Preview of Android 12

Posted on February 18, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev with 13 Comments

Google today announced the first Developer Preview release of Android 12, which the firm expects to finalize by the end of August after several more pre-release milestones.

“With each Android version, we’re working to make the OS smarter, easier to use, and better performing, with privacy and security at the core,” Google VP Dave Burke writes in the announcement post. “In Android 12 we’re also working to give [developers] new tools for building great experiences for users. Starting with things like compatible media transcoding, which helps your app to work with the latest video formats if you don’t already support them, and easier copy/paste of rich content into your apps, like images and videos. We’re also adding privacy protections and optimizing performance to keep your apps responsive.”

As you can tell from that quote, there aren’t many interesting user-facing new features in this first preview release, but that makes sense given the target audience. Looking over the list of (developer-oriented) enhancements, there’s not really much to call out, beyond some spatial, multi-channel audio improvements, a more modern notifications design, and haptic-coupled audio effects.

If you are an Android developer and want to get started with this release immediately, you’ll need a Pixel 3/3 XL, Pixel 3a/3a XL, Pixel 4/4 XL, Pixel 4a/4a 5G, or Pixel 5 handset. Otherwise, you can use the Android 12 system images with the Android Emulator in Android Studio.

You can learn more about Android 12 Developer Preview 1 here.

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