Almost exactly a year after Google announced the first developer preview of Android 11, the company today released the first developer preview of Android 12. The team and company partners had a pandemic, but it seems they couldn’t keep up with the Android 12 schedule. As you might expect from the early developer preview, most of the changes here are made internally, and there aren’t any brave non-developer wireless updates yet to try it out.
It’s important to note that some of the highlights of previous releases tend to add user changes and UI updates throughout the preview cycle. This is the ability to fast transcode media to high quality formats such as AV1 image format. More responsive notifications and new developer features that allow you to switch between individual platform changes make it easier to test your app’s compatibility. Google will also add platform stability milestones to Android 12, similar to Android 11, to notify developers in advance when final changes for apps occur during the operating system development cycle. I promise. Last year, the team reached that milestone in July, when it launched its second beta release.
“Each version was focused on privacy and security to make the OS smarter, easier to use, and improve performance,” said Dave Burke, Google’s Vice President of Engineering. “With Android 12, we were also working to provide new tools for users to build great experiences. We’ll start with compatible media transcoding and more. It still supports the latest video formats. Helps the app work with the latest video formats when not, and allows you to easily copy and paste rich content such as images and videos into the app, add privacy protection and update the UI And optimized performance to keep the app responsive. “
Obviously, Android 12 has dozens of developer updates. Let’s take a closer look at some.
For example, for Android 12 WebView, Google implements the same SameSite Cookie behavior as Chrome. Last year, the company delayed the rollout of this change. This made it difficult for advertisers to track activity across Chrome sites just because there were too many sites. With this feature fully implemented in Chrome, Android teams can now implement the same privacy tools in WebView that other apps use to display web content.
Regarding encoding capabilities, Burke said, “With the proliferation of HEVC hardware encoders on mobile devices, camera apps are increasingly capturing in HEVC format, which is significantly better in quality and compression than older codecs.” It states. He states that most apps need to support HEVC, but for apps that can’t, Android 12 now offers a service to transcode files to AVC.
In addition, Android 12 now supports the AV1 image file format as a container for image and GIF-like image sequences. “Like other modern image formats, AVIF utilizes in-frame encoded content from video compression,” explains Burke. “This dramatically improves the image quality of the same file size compared to older image formats such as JPEG.”
Like all Android releases, Google continues to mess with the notification system. This time, the team promises to redesign to “make it more modern, easier to use and more functional.” Burke calls optimized transitions and animations, as well as the ability for apps to decorate notifications with custom content. Google is now asking developers to implement a system that quickly moves users from notifications to apps, without using the previously recommended intermediate broadcast receivers and services.
Android 12 enhances support for up to 24 channels of multi-channel audio (which will definitely benefit music and other audio apps), spatial audio, MPEG-H support, and tactile-coupled audio effects. Vibration and frequency based on audio (there is no doubt that it will benefit the game). In addition, gesture navigation has been improved and many other optimizations and minor changes have been made throughout the operating system.
Google also continues to promote the project mainline. This allows you to update core features of the Android OS via the Google Play system, avoiding the slow update cycle of most hardware manufacturers. Android 12 brings the Android runtime module to the mainline, allowing Google to push updates to the core runtime and libraries to the device. “You can improve runtime performance and accuracy, manage memory more efficiently, and speed up Kotlin operations without having to update your entire system,” says Burke. “We also extended the functionality of existing modules, for example, providing seamless transcoding capabilities within updatable modules.”
A detailed list of all changes in Android 12 can be found here.
Developers who want to start deploying their app on Android 12 can do that today by flashing the device image to their Pixel device. Currently, Android 12 supports Pixel 3/3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 4/4 XL, Pixel 4a / 4a 5G, Pixel 5. You can also use the system image with Google’s Android Studio Android emulator.
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