Google today kicked off I/O 2021 virtually with a keynote address by Alphabet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai. At the event, the company announced a host of new features for its various products and services including Maps, Photos, Search, WearOS and Workspaces among others. In addition to this, the company also gave us the first official view of its next-generation mobile operating system — Android 12.
The company today released the first beta version of Android 12. It also gave us a glimpse of some of the key features, some of which will be available in future releases.
So, here are the top features that are coming to Android 12:
— With Android 12, users will be able to completely personalize their smartphones. This feature will first be available on the company’s Pixel smartphones. “Using what we call color extraction, you choose your wallpaper, and the system automatically determines which colors are dominant, which ones are complementary, and which ones just look great. It then applies those colors across the entire OS,” the company wrote in its blog post.
— Google said that Android 12 will offer a more fluid 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,” the company added.
— Users will now be able to long-press the power button to invoke Google Assistant.
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— Google has also introduced a new Privacy Dashboard that offers a single view into users’ permissions settings as well as what data is being accessed, how often and by which apps. It also lets users easily revoke app permissions from the dashboard.
— Google is also adding a new indicator to the top right of users’ status bars so that they know when an app is accessing their microphone or camera. “And if you want to remove app access to these sensors for the entire system, we’ve added two new toggles in Quick Settings,” the company added.
— The company is also bringing new approximate location permissions to Android 12. With this feature, users will be able to limit apps to seeing their approximate location instead of a precise one.
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— 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.