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Google doesn't shy away from showing its AI & ML smarts in its Pixel phones, with features like Hold for Me and Recorder serving as notable examples. In the same vein, we recently heard that face-based auto-rotation could make its way to the Pixel with Android 12, but as it turns out, it could be available on other phones too.
The setting for the feature can be found in the second Android 12 Developer Preview, but it's still hidden behind a flag, as Mishaal Rahman notes. Unfortunately, it doesn't work yet, but we already know what it'll do. Instead of relying solely on the gyroscope to figure out how the phone is being held, it's expected to use the front-facing camera to judge face orientation and accordingly rotate content on the screen.
Follow up on the face-based autorotate: https://t.co/QHXZzJgSVv
It looks like it'll be an AOSP feature. It doesn't work at the moment since the RotationResolverService isn't available.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 17, 2021
If you're worried about a constantly-looking camera, you'll be pleased to learn that the process will happen entirely on the device and that no photo will either be saved or uploaded to Google's servers.
Mishaal adds that this seems to be an AOSP feature and not one that's exclusive to Pixels as previously believed. But since this is a developer preview we're talking about, we may not even see this feature ship when Android 12 releases later this year — only time will tell whether it makes the cut.
For more about Android 12, check out our ongoing series coverage here, or bookmark our regularly updated changelog and check back in later. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.