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Google hid the big UI changes in Android 12, but here are some screenshots

Google doesn't want you to see these changes yet, but here's what we know so far.

Published onFebruary 19, 2021

Android 12 stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Google hid most of the big Android 12 UI changes, but some code sleuthing from XDA-Developers uncovered quite a bit.
  • The lock screen, notifications panel, and always-on display designs could be very different.
  • Keep in mind, though, that Google hid these changes for a reason. There are no guarantees these will actually ship.

Before we saw the first Android 12 developer preview yesterday, we saw a leak of some potential UI changes for the operating system. However, when we actually got Android 12 installed, we found that it looked pretty much just like Android 11. What happened to all those big design changes?

See also: Android 12 features: Everything confirmed and rumored so far

As it turns out, the Android 12 UI could be very different from Android 11. It’s just that Google hid most of the changes in this first developer preview. Thankfully, XDA-Developers pored through the code and figured out a way to “switch on” some of the new design elements.

We detail XDA‘s finding below. Before you start salivating over the new Android 12 UI changes though, keep in mind that Google purposefully hid these features. Until they are easily accessible in a beta release, it’s totally plausible that these will not ship with Android 12.

Android 12 UI changes: Lock screen, AoD, and notifications

First up, let’s talk about the always-on display. Rather than have most of the information in the middle, Google appears to be moving the information to the top of the screen. The clock has a more modern look and the date/weather widget is smaller and offset to the right. Underneath that widget, you’ll see notification icons as they arrive.

When you exit out of the AoD to the lock screen, the clock widget design carries over. However, now it appears to be a thicker font and a lot bigger, taking up roughly a third of the whole display. If you have notifications, though, the widget goes back to the same size as it was on the AoD to make room for your notification cards.

Finally, the notification drawer looks very different. The quick settings tiles have a lot more space surrounding them since they are now in a 3×3 grid. The background is far more opaque than the one we saw in the DP1 Android 12 UI (for which we are thankful). The brightness bar takes up a lot more real estate and notification cards look slightly different.

Once again, there are no guarantees these changes will actually land with Android 12. This wouldn’t be the first time Google included code in an Android developer preview that never made it to launch. However, it is nice to see that Google is at least toying with some big design changes this year, as Android has looked pretty much the same for the past few cycles.

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