10 Biggest Android 12 Features, Release Date, Supported Devices & More

Here's everything you need to know about Android 12.

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Android 12 features and changes

The third developer preview (DP3) of Android 12, the next major update for Android devices, is here. Although many are still waiting for their Android 11 update but that’s past the point.

Android is the most popular smartphone operating system in the entire world. Naturally, many are excited about the latest features of Android 12.

In this article, we will talk about Android 12 best features, Android 12 release date, Android 12 supported devices, what Android 12 will be called, and a lot more.

Android 12 code name

For those of you who are looking for the Android 12 name — we hate to break it to you, but Android 12 will be called Android 12. That’s because Google stopped assigning dessert names to Android versions starting in 2019. For the past two years, it has been Android 10, Android 11, and now Android 12.

However, last year we learned that Google is still internally assigning desert names to the latest Android versions. For instance, Android 11 (R) is internally called “Red Velvet Cake.” Based on Android 12 leaks, the next Android version i.e. Android S will be internally known as “Snow Cone.”

Android 12 release date

Android 12 timeline

Based on the Android 12 roadmap, Google is planning to release three Android 12 Developer Previews in February, March and April. Presently, the Android 12 Developer Preview 3 is out for several Pixel devices.

Then in the month of May, we can expect the first beta of Android 12. Google plans to release three more Android 12 betas in June, July and two in August.

Finally, Google will release the Android 12 stable build in the month of September. Naturally, Pixel devices will be the first to receive it. But from there, other Android devices will gradually start getting the Android 12 update in Q4 of 2021, with most of them getting in 2022.

10 Biggest Android 12 Features

Here are the best Android 12 features based on the first developer Preview of Android 12. We will update this article when Android 12 DP2 comes out.

1. Changes in UI

One thing you will notice right away in Android 12 is the new rounded corners on menus, pop-up panels and other UI elements.

You will notice this in the Recent Apps menu; while swiping up into the App Drawer; in the pop-up menu upon long pressing on the home screen, etc. Even the volume panel is tweaked and features a bigger slider with round edges.

Other than that, there are a few UI tweaks here and there such as screenshot previews can be swiped away either to the left or right, all apps now show the splash screen for a split second after launch, and more.

Home screen

Coming to the Android 12 home screen; options in the pop-up menu have been partitioned. There is a revamped widget menu with a search bar and personalized widget recommendations.

Google has added two new grid options, a 4X4 layout and a 4X5 layout in the Pixel launcher settings.


One of the biggest new features of Android 12 is the interface changes in the Android settings. All the icons and headers are much larger. The search bar has been redesigned; now featuring rounded corners and the profile picture has shifted outside the search box.

Also, the large battery on the Battery settings page is replaced with a new progress bar telling you a time estimate of juice remaining in the device. A similar progress bar has also arrived on the Storage settings page.

Apart from that, some settings can be seen with a blue hue in the background hinting of the arrival of a new in-house theming system that has been in rumors for quite a while now.

2. Notification Shade and Media Player UI

Unlike Android 11, which added a big new feature called “Conversations” to the Notification panel, Android 12 appears to be focusing on design changes.

The notification shade is now more transparent, and there appears to be more space between the notification sections. The toggles in the quick settings panel now show on/off status. Another big change we are seeing is the addition of a count for bundled notifications and a new clock icon in the notifications which opens up the snooze menu.

When you long-press on a notification, there is also a new “Automatic” option (currently in the works) that will enable Android to decide for itself whether a notification should give a ring or vibrate.

Coming to the media player: It’s much bigger with larger playback controls and features a bigger album art. Also, there is now a small icon to denote which audio device is playing the music. Tapping on it opens a new pop-up where you can easily pair a new Bluetooth device.

Android 12 best feature media UI

Apart from that, there is a new Media settings page where you can choose which apps can have their media player show up in Quick Settings for an extended period. To access it, you can either long press on the media player and tap on Settings or go to the Android Settings > Sound and Vibration > Media.

Android 12 media quick settings

3. One-handed mode

Android 12 One handed mode

The new in-house one-handed mode is one of the best features of Android 12. The Android 12 feature scales down the screen, therefore allowing users to easily use the device with a single hand. As seen in the screenshots, toggling the feature also magnifies some settings as well.

But unlike the one-handed mode in other Android-based UIs where the screen shrinks vertically and horizontally, in Android 12, the screen only scales down vertically.

The one-handed mode in Android 12 will certainly be useful for smartphones that have big screens.

4. Scrolling Screenshots

After years of delays, Google has finally added the Scrolling Screenshot feature in Android 12. A scrolling screenshot is where the device captures a normal screenshot, scrolls down and captures another one, stitches the two, and produces a long screenshot.

As of now, the feature is buggy and is disabled by default in the Android 12 Developer Preview 1. However, we are hoping it will be one of the biggest Android 12 features.

5. Picture-in-picture

As rumored, Android 12 features enhancements in the picture-in-picture mode, such as pinching to re-size and double-tapping the floating window to make it full size.

Much like PiP in iOS 14, Android 12 also has added functionality to hide the Picture-in-Picture window to the side of the screen.

6. Use Screenshot Markup To Edit All Photos

Google now allows users to edit all photos in the Markup tool as opposed to just screenshots. You can draw, add text and stickers using this new Android 12 feature.

markup screenshot Android 12

You can edit photos captured from the phone’s camera, transferred from other devices as well as those saved from third-party apps in the screenshot markup tool.

7. Hide Punch Hole on Pixel devices

hide punch hole Android 12

The huge punch hole camera on the top left is a defining feature of the newer Pixel devices. However, if you are annoyed by it, you can hide it using a new Android 12 setting.

In the latest update, you can hide the punch hole on your Pixel 4a, 4a 5G or Pixel 5 in the developer settings.

Once enabled, you will now see a black bar over the status bar, effectively hiding the punch hole. This is different from Pixel 3XL, where hiding the notch shifts the status bar downwards.

8. Conversations Widget

Source — 9to5Google

Google added a Conversation section to the notification panel in Android 11, which enabled users never to miss a message or an update from their friends or family.

Adding on to that, the conversation widget is another big Android 12 feature. The new widget enables users to view recent messages, missed calls, and status information of a person.

The conversation widget can be added from the Widgets menu. Once you add it, select the conversation whose widget you would like to see on the home screen. As of now, the feature is only available to select users.

9. Reduce Bright Colors

Reduce bright colors how to Android 12

A new accessibility feature introduced in Android 12 is an option to reduce bright colors. As the name suggests, it tone downs the popping colors on your Android screen as well as the screen brightness.

Reduce bright color settings can also be toggled on from the Quick settings menu or in the Accessibility settings.

10. Double Tap (Pixel exclusive)

Double Tap is a new Android 12 feature that works similar to the Back Tap in iOS 14 — you can double-tap on the back of the device to perform quick actions such as waking up the Google Assistant, opening the Notification center, opening a particular app or a setting, etc.

The double-tap gesture feature first appeared in earlier builds of Android 11, however was left out of the final release. Even now the toggle appears to be non-functional.

More Android 12 features based on previous Android 12 leaks

11. New Privacy features

Android 12 privacy features

Google has added toggles to disable cameras and mute microphones entirely in the Android 12 privacy settings.

Similar to how you can disable location access, you will be able to restrict all apps at once from accessing the camera and the microphone. This feature first appeared in Android 12 leaks. Since Android 12 DP 3 is already out, chances of this feature making it to Android 12 are slim.

12. App Pairs

With Android 12, Google may introduce a new split-screen feature called App Pairs. When doing a split-screen, the two apps will now be shown as a pair in the Recents menu.

“Once paired, you should be able to easily swap to using a different single app and then swap back to the pair you created,” writes 9to5Google.

13. Face-based Auto Rotate (Pixel exclusive) (speculated)

9to5Google reports that Pixel devices may get a new face-based auto-rotation feature in Android 12. With this, the device will use the front-facing camera to see the head orientation and will rotate the screen accordingly.

Presently, Android devices use on-device sensors and rotate the screen to match the device’s orientation. However, it is far from perfect, and often users are forced to lock rotation. Hopefully, Android 12’s face-based option will resolve this issue.

14. Game mode

Google is expected to introduce a game mode in Android 12. It is being called the “GameManager” service, which is described as a “service to manage game related features.”

There is not much information on the Android 12 feature for now, so we will leave it to your imagination.

When will my device get Android 12?

Every time there is a new Android version in town, this question is always on everyone’s mind. And like always, the answer lies with your smartphone manufacturer. OEMs like OnePlus are known to issue new Android updates quicker, while manufacturers like Xiaomi and Samsung are known to take a lot of time.

Of course, if your smartphone vendor is none other than Google, i.e., if you own a Google Pixel device — there is no doubt you will be the first person to receive the Android 12.

As of now, the Android 12 Developer Preview 3 is out for the below devices —

  • Pixel 5
  • Pixel 4a 5G
  • Pixel 4a
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL

How to install Android 12 Developer Preview?

As of now, Android 12 first developer preview is officially available for Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, or Pixel 5.

If you own one of Android 12 DP3 supported devices, you can install Android 12 by following this guide.

As the name suggests, developer previews are intended for developers. While they are available to general users, the builds are barely stable and come with several issues. That being said, the excitement and pleasure of getting the latest Android version first are worth the risks.

So this was everything about the latest Android update — Android 12. Do you like these new Android 12 features? Let us know in the comments down below.

Charanjeet Singh

Charanjeet Singh

Charanjeet owns an iPhone but his love for Android customization lives on. If you ever ask him to choose between an iPhone, Pixel or Xiaomi; better if you don't.

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