Android 12 is full of small functions and improvements that make the operating system easier to use. In this article, we collect the nicest, smaller features of the major Android update.
Read on after the ad.
Small Android 12 functions at a glance
Android 12’s first developer beta is now available. Although not all new features are included in this test version, quite a few have already been discovered. That is why we discuss below eight useful, smaller features that are introduced with the successor to Android 11. Are you reading?
1. Scrolling screenshots
The Play Store has been offering apps for years that allow you to take ‘scrolling screenshots’, in other words: screenshots that go further than what you see on the screen. These are very useful, because they also allow you to capture what falls off the screen. Consider, for example, a large piece of text on a web page, or a long WhatsApp conversation.
It seems like Google is finally adding this feature to Android as well, eliminating the need for external apps. If you take a screenshot on a smartphone with Android 12, you will see a new ‘Scroll’ option appear at the bottom right.
2. One-hand mode
Also handy: Android 12 ensures that you can operate your smartphone much more easily with one hand. It works a bit differently than we expected: instead of the entire screen being ‘shrunk’ and moved to the corner of the display, the top simply comes down. This makes it easier to reach the top options and buttons on the screen with your thumb.
3. Better screenshot editor
The built-in screenshot editor is expanded with new options in Android 12. This gives you more options to edit screenshots, including a text and emoji button.
A tool has also been added with which you can remove parts from a screenshot more precisely. Ultimately, it should ensure that you no longer need an external app to edit screenshots.
4. Settings app gets a new coat of paint
In Android 12, the Settings app is also slightly overhauled. The background has been given a light blue color and the search bar at the top has also been renewed. The differences are not very big, but it does make the Settings app look a bit fresher again.
5. Hiding camera hole on Pixel phones
Do you have a recent Pixel smartphone, such as the Pixel 4a or Pixel 5, and not much of a fan of the camera hole in the top left of the screen? In Android 12 you can ‘hide’ the hole by diving into the settings and go to the ‘Display cut-out’ option. Here you can choose to ‘switch off’ the camera hole, because a black bar appears at the top of the screen. This makes it less likely to see the hole for the selfie camera.
6. Share WiFi passwords more easily
Android 12 also makes it easier to share Wi-Fi passwords with others, such as your friends, colleagues or family members. This is now done via ‘Close Sharing’, a useful function that has been in the operating system for a while. If you want to share a difficult password for your WiFi network, simply choose the new Share Close option and the other person will then receive a notification on his or her smartphone.
If they accept the share request, the device will automatically be connected to your WiFi network. The password is never shown, which is great of course. The option is less not the fastest way to share your WiFi password with someone else, but it is relatively secure.
7. More Android updates via Play Store
With Android 12, Google also wants to roll out more updates via the Play Store, without manufacturers having to release separate system updates. This is also already present in Android 11. In version 12, Android Runtime (ART), an important part of the mobile operating system, is also included in the updates that the company can roll out via the Play Store.
8. Better on bigger screens
Finally, Google is carrying out the necessary optimisations to make Android work better and better on large screens, for example on foldable smartphones, tablets and televisions. For example, the company has already released a test version of Android 12 for Android TV. This also allows developers to test all of their apps for the latest Android version for smart TVs.
Android 12 will be released later this year
For now, Android 12 is only available in beta for developers. More test versions will be released in the coming months, but normal users can also get started with the new Android version in May. Then Google will come up with a public beta, which you can download and install if you have a Google Pixel phone.
In the months that followed, the company continues to add new features and solve problems. The final version of Android 12 is expected to be released in September, and only then will other manufacturers be able to release the update for their smartphones. It will therefore take a while before you can get started with Android 12.
Do you want to stay up to date with Android 12? Then keep an eye on our site, download the free Android Planet app on your smartphone and sign up for the newsletter.