[Update: Feb. 09] Android 12 update tracker: Early info we know so far

android-11-final-2

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on October 13, 2020) follows:

Android 11 was unveiled back in September and as expected, Google’s own devices already run this new version of Android.

Other Android phonemakers are working on their respective Android 11 skins and you can check out our dedicated tracker for most popular OEMs here.

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Even then, it looks like Google is already looking ahead, planning things to do with the next version of Android, Android 12.

Since new Android versions are often unveiled every September-October, Android 12 is still a whole year away so whatever we know now has got to be taken with a grain of salt.

So what do we know about Android 12 so far? Well, we know that Google will call it Android 12 if recently published material is anything to go by.

In a blog post published on Android Developers’ forum titled ‘Listening to Developer Feedback to Improve Google Play’, the company makes mention of the next version of Android.

some developers have given us feedback on how we can make the user experience for installing another app store on their device even better. In response to that feedback, we will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices…
Source

In the same publication, Google goes to explain how it plans to make Android 12 a lot more open by building tools that will make it easier for third-party app stores to work well.

Some other features and improvements rumored to be coming in Android 12 include scroll shot feature, better cloud backups, more restrictions to background app killing, more refinement to the gesture navigation, and improved third party launcher support.

More info on everything we know about Android 12 will be added below so stay tuned.

Update 1: February 19

Android 12 is set to support the Incremental File System. Incremental FS is a ‘special-purpose Linux virtual file system that allows execution of a program while its binary and resource files are still being lazily downloaded over the network, USB etc’.

More on that here.

Update 2: May 5

Vivo has announced that the iQOO 3 will get updated to both Android 11 and Android 12. The device will also get regular security patches and OTA support for 3 years. More on this here.

Update 3: May 18

The Narzo 10 might very well be in line for an update to the next version of Android. More on that here.

Update 4: September 26

While the Poco X3 is set to get updated to Android 11, the fate of the device with regards to Android 12 is still unclear. More on that here.

Update 5: November 26

07:00 pm (IST): It seems that Android 12 might finally make system updates easier. A Google engineer has revealed that the company plans to make the Android Runtime (ART) an updatable Mainline module in Android S/Android 12.

This means that Google would have total control over the ART module and would be able to release updates to all devices without involving the OEM. Therefore, updates could be rolled out through the Google Play Store instead of OTA updates according to a report.

Update 6: January 12

10:15 am (IST): The folks over at XDA have spotted a couple of code changes submitted to AOSP by which it appears that Google is working on an app hibernation feature for Android 12.

It’s a “System service that manages app hibernation state, a state apps can enter that means they are not being actively used and can be optimized for storage.”

Update 7: January 20

06:37 pm (IST): The Android 12 Developer Preview is just around the and we’re now seeing reports (1, 2) of new features that may come with Android 12.

For starters, users would be able to share Wi-Fi passwords via the Nearby Share function. Further, a new restricted networking mode feature will make its way to Android users with the upcoming Android version.

It is a new firewall chain, with a set of rules that the Linux iptables utility follows to allow or block network traffic. However, this permission will only be granted to system apps or apps signed by the OEM.

Update 8: January 21

10:15 am (IST): New details continue to flow in surrounding Android 12. As per a report, Android 12 will let users create ‘App Pairs’ for seamless multitasking. The feature allows for two apps to be paired as one task.

Essentially, this allows users to switch applications without losing the two apps paired in split-screen mode. Google is also reportedly working on enhancing the game controller rumble with Android 12. At present, the APIs for the vibration of external devices are not up to the mark.

Update 9: January 23

10:55 am (IST): A fresh report from 9to5Google suggests that Google might bring back the double tap gesture for the Pixels with Android 12. The gesture — codenamed “Columbus” — was first discovered in the Android 11 Developer Preview but didn’t show up in the stable release.

With the double tap gesture, users would be able to trigger a handful of actions on their devices such as:

– Activate the Google Assistant
– Take a screenshot
– Pause/resume media playback
– Open the notification shade
– Open the recent apps view

Update 10: January 27

11:50 am (IST): New code in the Android source code suggests that it will be possible to update the system fonts and emojis on Android 12 without a system upgrade. More details on changes that would make this possible can be found here.

Update 11: January 28

10:05 am (IST): It appears Android 12 will offer native system theming that will allow users to select a primary color and an accent color which would be applied system-wide, where supported.

The best part is that the colors your pick would also be available in third-party applications if the app developers choose to enable the feature. Further, the color could also be selected automatically based on the colors of the current wallpaper report.

Update 12: February 06

01:08 am (IST): Google, with Android 10, introduced the Android Beta Feedback app that helped users report bugs without having to visit the bug tracker website.

And whilst that app has been dormant for a while, it has now bagged a fresh update bumping its version up from 2.11 to 2.15. This indicates that the Android 12 development has commenced and preview builds should launch soon. More info here.

Update 13: February 09

10:50 am (IST): There is a fresh rumor doing rounds about how Android 12 is going to look. The folks at XDA managed to get their hands on a purported draft of a document made by Google themselves.

In it, we see some really radical design changes. The UI is much more rounded and modern looking. Further, if real, these screenshots may be the very first look at Android 12’s theming capabilities we discussed above.

This is because, as clear from the above screenies, the wallpaper and the interface backgrounds have matching colors.

All this was much needed in the light of recent custom Android skin releases like One UI 3.0 and MIUI 12.5 that look more modern than ever and have left stock Android in desperate need of design updates.

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