Google released the first developer preview, Gives developers and early-adopters a chance to test the search giant’s latest mobile operating system. Not for everyone – it’s probably full of bugs and issues – but we’ve installed it on a test tool and are looking for any notable changes.
The first preview doesn’t have a lot of user-facing features – it’s mainly an under-hood improvement – but there are some notable items that are worth pointing out. For example, there is a new double-tap gesture that you trigger by tapping the back of the phone to perform a task, such as taking a screenshot. Google always adds more features to the release as we get closer to the public beta in May and the final releases later this year, so expect more improvements and new goodies to come.
Below we’ll highlight some new features that we can find in the current build, and keep updating the list as Google releases more updates and enables more features. I recommend at least waiting until the first public beta is released by Google before taking the plunge and installing Android 12, but here you can start looking ahead.
A double-tap gesture to get stuff
Apple’s iPhone has a nice feature that allows you to trigger your select action multiple times with a tap on the back of the phone. It seems that Google is going to borrow that idea with the new double-tap gesture.
On my pixel 5, i went Adjustment > system > Gestures > double tap Where I have turned on the new facility. After it is enabled, you will see a list of actions you can trigger. Tasks include taking screenshots, playing media, and opening Google Assistant.
That said, I have not yet successfully triggered the gesture. I have also turned off the setting at the bottom of the screen which requires a hard tap without any luck. Apparently it is a feature coming to Android 12, but it is not yet fully integrated.
Another clue that Google’s work is incomplete here: the animation playing at the top of the screen makes the person double-press the power button instead of tapping the phone.
Call for help from Emergency SOS
Now you can quickly call by pressing the power button on your phone five times. A countdown alarm will help you know that your phone is about to call for help, and then it will call your local emergency number.
Emergency SOS was turned on by default after installing the beta, but you can try opening the settings Adjustment App and going to Security and Emergency > emergency situation.
Notifications are slightly redesigned
This is a minor change, and is sure to expand in future updates. The notification panel has a new look that is very subtle. When you’re using the Light theme, the notification shade has a blue tint, and app icons are more pronounced.
This is a small change, but it gives a glimpse of the new approach to the interface, which we hope to see more in future releases.
Control which apps appear in media settings
Instead of allowing any and every app that plays audio or video to use the media control panel in its Quick Settings panel, Android 12 adds the option to close the personal app. For example, if you want to be able to control the playback of Spotify in the Quick Settings panel shade, but you don’t really want YouTube to take up space, you can turn it off.
Open Adjustment > Sound and vibration > Media And close all the apps you want to ban.
We know that Google has a lot in store for Android 12, based on the ones being buried in the current preview. Features and settings that require technology-saving to enable. Check this twitter thread To see the list of features that are currently closed, but searching and showing XDA Developers Editor-in-Chief Mishal Rahman.
Yes, there is a lot to get excited about.
We will update this story with new features, as they have been officially added to Android 12. Until then, be sure to bookmark this page and check it again and again. In the meantime, be sure to check out our favorite Android 11 features. And, if you insist, here’s how you can install Android 12 Developer Preview now.