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Android 12 Developer Preview 2 available: here's what's new
- Google has released Android 12 Developer Preview 2 for Pixel devices.
- The new version adds more safety features and usability improvements, including support for rounded corners.
- It’s not yet ready for mainstream use.
A month after releasing the first Android 12 Developer Preview, Google is ready with a follow-up. The company has made Android 12 Developer Preview 2 available for coders using the Pixel 3/3XL, Pixel 3a/3a XL, Pixel 4/4 XL, Pixel 4a/4a 5G, and Pixel 5. You’re still out of luck if you have another device, although you can use the emulator inside Android Studio if you don’t need to test with real hardware.
As before, Android 12 DP2 isn’t meant for everyday use. You’ll have to install it yourself through either a factory image (if you don’t mind wiping your device) or sideloading an over-the-air installation. This is intended for developers who want to prepare their apps for the new OS and are willing to put up with instability and feature bugs.
Android 12 Developer Preview 2: What’s new
Like the first version, Android 12 Developer Preview 2 won’t have many public-facing features. This remains focused on behind-the-scenes features for programmers. However, there are still a few significant improvements, including ones you’ll notice once apps and phones are updated to use the new platform.
Safety and trust are strong focuses for the new release. App creators can require authentication for tasks even from the lock screen, for example. Developers can also ask Android to verify the integrity of an installed app, and prevent system overlay alerts from showing over their content.
Other Android 12 Developer Preview 2 upgrades should lead to a slicker overall experience. New frameworks will help teams write apps for phones with rounded corners. Picture-in-picture viewing should now have smoother transitions and resizing. It’ll be easier for apps to keep smartwatches and other companion devices awake, too. Apps now have access to better bandwidth estimates, and it’ll require less effort to produce visual effects like blurs and color filters.
Keep an eye on Android Authority in the days ahead, as it won’t be surprising if Developer Preview 2 brings other improvements to Android 12 beyond what Google has discussed so far.
When will you get Android 12?
Google says it’s still on track to achieve “platform stability” for Android 12 by August 2021. We wouldn’t rule out a delay for a stable given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that’s roughly in line with releases in past years.
A public beta is less certain. Google released the first beta for Android 11 on June 10th, 2020. but it won’t be surprising if the timing shifts by a few weeks if the beta is delayed or even finished early. While it’s comforting that Android 12 Developer Preview 2 is on schedule, then, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll have the new software in your hands at a certain point in time.