Android 12 logo on Google Pixel 3 3

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • An unreleased build of Android 12 has shed light on plenty of new features and tweaks.
  • Expect new emojis, new permissions, the ability to trigger Assistant via the power button, and more.
  • There’s no guarantee that all these features and tweaks will come to the final version.

The Android 12 developer preview program is already in full swing, allowing users to install early versions of the upcoming Android update on supported phones. These early updates already give us a good idea of what’s coming next, such as easier Wi-Fi sharing, a one-handed mode, and better notifications.

Now, XDA-Developers has gained access to an unreleased version of the Android 12 developer preview, giving us a look at a few potentially upcoming features. For one, Google lets you trigger the Assistant by holding the power button for a few seconds. Presumably you’ll need to hold the button for a few seconds longer to access the actual power menu.

Other notable additions are new emojis based on the Unicode Emoji 13.1 release, quick settings tiles for smart home controls and card/passes, notifications when apps access your clipboard, and two new permissions.

In the case of the new permissions, we’re looking at mysterious “media management” and “alarms and reminders” permissions. The outlet explains that the latter permission will enable an app to schedule alarms and reminders, so presumably third-party alarm/reminder apps have to account for this change in the future.

Android 12: What else was uncovered?

There are loads of general tweaks spotted in this unreleased version of Android 12 too. Some of the more noteworthy tweaks include improved scrolling screenshots (launching a separate window showing an extended screenshot from the get-go, then letting you crop as you see fit), a search field in the widget picker so you can find the relevant widget, and automatic splash screens for apps upon opening them.

In the latter case, XDA noted that this Android 12 build generated an automatic splash screen for the outlet’s own app despite it having a splash screen already (so you end up seeing two splash screens). We expect buggy behavior like this given the early nature of the Android 12 update, but hopefully Google is hard at work to fix this issue.

There are loads more tweaks to be had, such as new charging animations, the use of new Wi-Fi standard names (e.g. Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6), and dual-panel homescreen views for tablets. You can check out the full rundown complete with screenshots and videos in the XDA article.

It’s worth stressing that the presence of code pointing to new features and tweaks doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be available in the final Android 12 update. After all, we previously saw code for features like dark mode and a desktop mode in previous Android versions well before they actually landed in the final update.

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