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Android 12, the big star of the Google I/O conference

Customization and security are the two major themes of the next Android that Google unveiled on Tuesday. Available now in beta, the next operating system Google promises better control over its personal data

Like Apple with its keynotes, Google takes advantage of its Google I/O conferences to unveil its great new features, and Tuesday, the star was Android 12. Beta is available for testers, and the two big themes are customization and security. These are the two objectives of Google which reminds that its operating system is installed on three billion devices!

For customization, Google introduces the concept of Material You, and it’s about creating an Android that looks and adapts to its user but also to its environment. Google even claims that Android 12 includes the biggest design change in Android’s history. Reserved for Pixels from autumn, this OS will offer a personalized color palette and redesigned widgets. From the background image you have chosen, all colors will adapt to it. Same goes for the whole operating system with notifications, lock screen, volume controls, new widgets…

Faster access to the most useful functions

Google also ensures that devices running Android 12 are now faster and more responsive thanks to system resource optimization. Here’s an example: Google promises up to 22% of processor access time for core system services. Still on the responsiveness side, the lock screen displays much more of it, and clearly, it reminds iOS with more visible notifications, quick access to the main functions; it now includes Google Play and control of connected objects. In the same spirit, a long press on the power button starts the Wizard to make a phone call, open apps, ask questions or read aloud articles containing text.

For the security and especially privacy part, Android 12 promises total control over personal data, and especially more transparency. Both from the operating system, but also from the applications. For this, we discover a new control center that offers a quick and complete view on the settings of permissions as well as the data you access, how often and by which applications. This dashboard also makes it easy to change application permissions.

Better control of personal data

In the same spirit, Android 12 is enriched with a new icon, located at the top right of the status bar: it alerts you when an application accesses your microphone or camera. And if you want to remove application access to these sensors for the entire system, there is now quick access. On the geolocation side, Android now offers a “rough” location and takes the weather example: “Weather apps don’t need your exact location to provide accurate prediction.”

The whole is obviously «boosted» by artificial intelligence, whether to improve research, audio and video recording, or still and always security. For availability, it will be in the fall with, first Google devices, and therefore the new Pixel. As for Android 11, other manufacturers will have to wait a few more weeks with a deployment that can be more or less long depending on the brands.

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