Google released the first developer previewIt gives developers and early adopters a chance to check out the search giant’s latest mobile operating system. not for everyone, full of bugs and issues, but we’ve uploaded it to a tester and we’re looking for notable changes.
There aren’t a lot of user-facing features in the first preview – mainly improvements under the hood – but there are a few key items worth noting. For example, there is a new double tap gesture that you trigger by tapping the back of the phone to perform a task like taking a screenshot. As we get closer to the public beta in May and the final version of this year, Google always adds more features to the version, so expect more improvements and new goodies to come out.
Below, we’ll highlight some of the new features we can find in the current build, and keep updating the list as Google releases more updates and enables more features. I recommend that you at least wait for the first public beta to be released by Google before you dive in and install Android 12, but here you can start looking forward.
A double tap to get things done
Apple’s iPhone has a great feature that allows you to tap the back of the phone a certain number of times to trigger an action of your choice. It looks like Google will borrow this idea with a new Double-Tap move.
I went to this address on my Pixel 5 Settings > System > Gestures > Double tap where I open the new feature. Once activated, you will see a list of actions you can trigger. Tasks include taking screenshots, playing and pausing media, or opening Google Assistant.
However, I have yet to successfully trigger the action. I even turned off the setting at the bottom of the screen, which unluckily required a hard touch. Obviously, it’s a feature coming to Android 12, but it doesn’t seem fully integrated yet.
Another sign that Google’s work is not over here: The animation played at the top of the screen shows the person pressing the power button twice instead of tapping the phone.
Call for help with Emergency SOS
Now you can quickly summon help by pressing the power button on your phone five times quickly. A countdown alarm sounds to let you know that your phone is about to call for help, and then calls your local emergency number.
After installing the beta version, Emergency SOS is turned on by default, but its settings Settings application and going Security and Emergency > Emergency SOS.
Notifications have a slightly new look
This is a small change and will certainly be expanded in future updates. The notification panel has a very slim look. When using the light theme, the notification shade has a blue tint and the app icons become more prominent.
This is a small change, but it shows a snapshot of the new approach to the interface that we expect to see more of in future releases.
Control which apps appear in media settings
Instead of letting every app that plays audio or video use the media control panel in your quick settings panel, Android 12 adds the option to close apps individually. For example, if you want to be able to control the playback of Spotify in the shade of the quick settings panel, but don’t really want YouTube to take up space, you can turn it off.
Open Settings > Sound and vibration > Media and close any apps you want to ban.
We know that Google has a lot more stores for Android 12 based on what people have found buried in the current preview. Features and settings that require technical knowledge to enable. Check out this Twitter thread To see a list of features that are currently closed, but XDA Developers’ editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman finds and flaunts.
Yes, there is a lot to get excited about.
We will update this story with new features as they were officially added to Android 12. Until then, be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. By the way, make sure Check out your favorite Android 11 features. And if you insist, here’s how you can do it. Download Android 12 developer preview now.