Google I/O 2021: Google shows the beta version of Android 12

Google shows the beta version of Android 12
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Google shows the beta version of Android 12

Highlights

Users will now be able to long-press and hold the power button to invoke the Google Assistant.

Google kicked off I/O 2021 virtually; this year, Google announced a host of new features for its various products and services, including Maps, Photos, Search, WearOS and Workspaces, among others.

The tech giant released the first beta version of Android 12 today. It also gave us a look at some of the key features, some of which will be available in future releases.

So these are the main features coming to Android 12:

- With Android 12, users will be able to customize their smartphones fully. This feature will be available first on the company's Pixel smartphones. "Using what we call colour extraction, you choose your wallpaper, and the system automatically determines which colours are dominant, which ones are complementary, and which ones look great. It then applies those colours across the entire OS," Google shared in its blog post.

- Google said that Android 12 would offer a smoother experience to users. "From the moment you pick up an Android 12 device, you'll feel how it comes alive with every tap, swipe and scroll. Your phone quickly responds to your touch with smooth motion and animations," Google added.

- Users will now be able to press and hold the power button to invoke the Google Assistant.

- Google has also introduced a new Privacy Dashboard that offers a single view of users' permission settings, as well as what data is accessed, how often, and through which apps. It also allows users to revoke application permissions from the control panel easily.

- Google is also adding a new indicator to the top right of users' status bars, so they know when an app is accessing their microphone or camera. "And if you want to remove application access to these sensors for the entire system, we have added two new switches in Quick Settings," the company added.

- The company is also bringing new approximate location permissions to Android 12. With this feature, users can limit applications to see their approximate location instead of a precise one.

- Lastly, the company introduced Android Private Compute Core, which allows it to introduce new technologies that are private by design. "Private Compute Core enables features like Live Caption, Now Playing and Smart Reply. "Like the rest of Android, the protections in Private Compute Core are open source and fully inspectable and verifiable by the security community," the company wrote in its post.


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