Google will release the latest beta version for Android 12 on schedule. Beta 3 for Android 12 continues to add features like screenshot scrolling, faster device universal App Search, improved auto-rotation, and more. Google says this version of Android 12 has “Android 12 APIs and an official SDK,” which means there should be no major changes in future beta versions. This should mean that Android 12 is still on the track to be released in the fall.
The most interesting new feature in Android 12 Beta 3 is “better, faster auto-rotate”. Google now sets up a forward-facing camera and face recognition to determine which direction you’re trying to hold your phone (instead of just relying on an accelerometer).
“This is especially useful for people who use their device to lie on a couch or bed,” writes Dave Burke, Android’s engineering director. This means you could lie on your side in bed with the phone in a horizontal position, but since the camera also sees your face horizontally, it stays upright.
Burke quickly points out that this facial recognition takes place locally on Android 12Private computing core, so images are never saved or sent from the device. ” When I first preview of Android 12, I had to spend a little time explaining what the Android Private Compute Core (APCC) is: a special and secure area of the operating system for executing algorithms that may contain sensitive information.
The visibility of the APCC in the original announcement was a clear hint that Google was going to create more Android features that might raise privacy concerns – and here we are when we see that the hint will become a reality. As I wrote back then, “an easier way to think about it is if there is an artificial intelligence feature that you think is creepy, Google uses it within the APCC, so its powers are limited.”
Burke says Google has also “re-optimized animation and drawing and added an ML-controlled gesture recognition algorithm.” He claims it will reduce the automatic cycle delay by 25 percent. Auto-rotate on Android has traditionally been pretty perky – and wildly inconsistent among different vendors – so hopefully these claims are true.
The auto-rotate wizard is neat, but the feature that’s likely to get the most incentives from Android users is a consistent, system-level way to create scrolling screenshots — that is, screenshots that allow you to grab more than one screen in a single image, such as a webpage.
Android 12 has new switches that allow you to turn off the camera or microphone at the system level. With Beta 3, the corporate administrator in charge of your business (or state) phone can now manage these switches and prevent you from accessing them if it fits your device.
Google also drives developers to use the new AppSearch device search engine both in their applications and throughout the phone. Developers can choose and choose which parts of their applications are indexed on the search appliance or other applications.
Google too recently announced that Android 12 allows users to start playing games before the download is complete. And such as beta 2, there may be some minor, unannounced changes that have not yet been revealed. Beta 3 should now be available on Pixel phones alongside a a small handful of equipment From Oppo, Realme, Sharp, OnePlus and others (but not Samsung, of course).
As for the final release of Android 12, it will arrive on Pixel phones first, but may also hit some of these manufacturers at an early stage. Google has improved the release rate of Android updates – but it still never matches the speed of iOS.