The recently released second beta version of Android 12 is packed with new features. We got an overview and picked out a few interesting details. Android 12 should appear in the fall, with September being targeted.
First of all: With the second beta version of Android 12, Google presented a long list of changes. There are numerous new functions, several improvements, and revisions. The company had already presented some of these when the next major OS version jump was presented, but only mentioned others in passing, which is now proving to be a great innovation in the beta.
Stay Warned: Since this is an unstable version of the operating system, we advise against installing Android 12 on your smartphone now. Check out the new features below or use a second cell phone.
Double tap gesture on smartphone back
This feature has been in the works for over a year and didn’t work in previous betas. Now the double-tap gesture has started in Android 12 Beta 2 and does what it should. At least on the Pixel 5, as other devices are not yet fully supported as far as is known. Some users reported that the Pixel 4 5G has already mastered the double-tap, but there should be more to do soon. As soon as you tap the back of the phone, a custom action is taken. The actions can be customized, for example, you can take a screenshot, start the Google Assistant, play or pause a playlist, access the “Recent Apps” menu, and much more.
New Conversation widgets
One of the “flagship” features of Android 12 are the new widgets. It starts with the “Conversations” widget, with which you can jump into a message thread directly from the home screen. In Android 12 Beta 2, the widget is now live for some people, but as far as is known, it is not yet for everyone who wants to try it out. The conversation widget can tap into any ongoing message thread from various apps on your device, including SMS / RCS from Google Messages, groups and individual messages in Telegram, and more.
New face unlock animation in Pixel 4
Anyone who owns a Pixel 4 will now get the revised new face unlock animation. When the lock screen disappears, a wave of color beams down from the top of the display to signal that Face-Unlock has just been used. This effect is very subtle and is similar to some of the other animations found on the Pixel smartphones in Android 12, including two similar “waves” that appear when the device is charging. Just like the charging animations, this subtle change also follows the individual color settings of the smartphone home screen.
Power Menu Using Google Assistant
With Android 12 Beta 2, the Google Assistant learned to open the power menu on the smartphone. So you can now ask the Google Assistant to switch off. Then it will start the power menu and you just have to choose whether you want to restart or switch off. This does not yet work entirely on voice input – which is probably also good so that the function can only be used by those who hold the phone in their hand.
New loading animations
The charging animations in Android have already seen some visible improvements in the first beta version, but beta 2 has now refined that again. When plugging in a USB-C charging cable, the ripple effect is even more subtle and fades away before it reaches the top of the display. In wireless charging, the ring of dots has been replaced by a simple wave of color. The percentage remains in the display but is now significantly larger. In combination with the “dynamic lighting” of Android 12 on the lock screen, this is an interesting new effect.
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