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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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Google Announces First Preview of Android 12”

  1. swish41

    cant wait to try this out!

  2. scovious

    That means the Surface Duo will be exactly 1 year behind in Android updates. Nice.

  3. crunchyfrog

    Android has significantly improved over the last several years. It's the one Google product that I can rely on that gets yearly updates and no chance of being tossed overboard.

  4. jdawgnoonan

    In reply to karlinhigh:

    Project Fuschia sounds quite interesting.

  5. codymesh

    yeah Google isn't going to give us iOS 14-link privacy, aren't they.

  6. retcable

    Some of us with just 2 year old phones are still waiting on Android 10 to be "tested and evaluated" by the manufacturers of our phones and the carriers who sold them to us. The whole Android OS update thing is still just an exercise in futility for most users and is a laughing-stock.