If you’re keen to see what the next version of Android will have, Google has today announced the Android 12 Developer Preview is now available.
Announced by Google VP of Engineering, Android, Dave Burke, Android 12 is aimed at making the OS ‘smarter, easier to use, and better performing, with privacy and security at the core’.
In Android 12, Google will bring support for SameSite cookies in WebView used by third-party apps, bringing the browser in-line with recent updates to Chrome. Google is also making changes for privacy, with better sandboxing to keep apps separated, and better handling of user data.
For media lovers, Google is expanding the support for HEVC encoding, adding it as a layer within Android. The addition of HEVC support at the OS level, will allow compatibility for the format without developers having to add the specific codec support to their app. Google is also adding spatial audio with MPEG-H playback support, offering up to 24 channels.
There’s also broader support for their AV1 codec used for images and sequences. AV1 has a better compression than other formats like JPEG, giving AV1 files better image quality for the same file size.
Google is also adding in support for a richer clipboard experience, with an API which will let you insert ‘images, videos and other expressive content’ from the clipboard, keyboard, or via drag and drop.
There will be improved notifications in Android 12, which Google says will be faster and more responsive, letting you jump into an app from a notification without having to wait.
There’s a bunch more of new features like improved haptic support, an improved Android experience on larger displays including tablets, foldables, and TVs – and you can even get hands-on with a developer preview for Android TV if you so desire.
Google is offering the Android 12 Developer preview to select Pixel phones (Pixel 3(3XL), 3a (3aXL), 4, 4a, 4a with 5G and Pixel 5) through an image, although they will launch a Beta program later in the year offering the Dev Preview via over the air update.
The roadmap for the Android 12 release will see a final release around Q3 after a final Platform Stability release around August.
If you’re confident enough to give it a go, you can download the Android 12 Developer Preview images for compatible Pixels from the Google Developer site.