Menu
Android 12 developer preview bolsters privacy, user experience

Android 12 developer preview bolsters privacy, user experience

Developers can play with new capabilities in security, privacy, media transcoding, rich content insertion, audio, and more.

Credit: Jenu Prasad / Google

With the first developer preview of the planned Android 12 platform, the developers of Google’s mobile OS are emphasizing privacy, user experience, and app compatibility.

The Android 12 developer preview, which is not intended for consumer use, was introduced on February 18. Instructions on accessing the preview can be found at developer.android.com.

To bolster user privacy, Android 12 adds controls over identifiers that can be used for tracking as well as safer defaults for app components. The builders of Android recommend testing to gauge the effects of these changes, adding that more security and privacy capabilities are coming in later preview releases. Platform stability is expected in August, with the final release to follow.

Android 12’s WebView class for displaying webpages includes SameSite cookie behaviors to offer additional security and privacy and give users more control over cookies. This feature is in line with changes to the Chrome browser. Android 12 also is set to continue improvements pertaining to privacy-protecting resettable identifiers. Further restrictions will be imposed regarding access to a device’s NetLink MAC address. Also, to prevent apps from inadvertently exporting activities, services, and receivers, the default setting of the android:exported attribute will be made more explicit.

To improve user experience, Android 12 is set to include compatible media transcoding to support HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), which is becoming increasingly popular in camera apps. Google’s Dave Burke, vice president of engineering, said Google recommends that developers support HEVC in their apps. If they cannot, then compatible media transcoding should be enabled. Android 12 also debuts platform support for AV1 Image File Format, a container format for images and sequences of images encoded using the AV1 video coding format.

 Other additions and improvements in Android 12:

  • For rich content insertion, a new unified API will let apps receive content from any source, including clipboard, keyboard, or drag-and-drop.
  • Starts on foreground services, which are a way to manage certain types of user-facing tasks, will be blocked from the background for apps targeting the new platform. The reasoning behind this is they can be overused and lead to app kills. To make it easier to transition away from this pattern, Android 12 introduces an expedited job in JobScheduler that gets elevated process priority, network access, and runs immediately regardless of power constraints.
  • Apps can provide audio-coupled haptic feedback through the phone’s vibrator.
  • Enhancements are featured for audio with spatial information.
  • Immersive mode has been simplified so that gesture navigation is easier and more consistent.
  • Notification designs are being modernized and made easier to use and more functional. Also, notifications are being made faster and more responsive.
  • For Google Play, an Android Runtime (ART) module has been added that lets updates be pushed to the core runtime and libraries on Android 12 devices. Runtime performance can be improved, memory more efficiently managed, and Kotlin operations made faster without needing a full system update.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Why experience is the new battleground for partners

Join us for an exclusive webinar, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and learn about the latest industry insights and how technology services continue to evolve to deliver differentiated value, and how partners can be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments