We've known about Android 12's hot new redesign since the early leaks before the developer previews even landed. But once details of the redesign were spotted in development, the question was raised: Is this what Android 12 looks like, or is Google giving its Pixels a skin? Now that the new Material You look is public, we know the answer. Praise Duarte, "you'll see it first on Google Pixel in the fall."
Chunky gallery of the new UI changes.
We've been wondering for a while whether or not the new UI would be Pixel-specific or not. Google's been slowly diverging the Pixel look from "stock" AOSP Android for a while, though I hesitate to say it's gone as far as being a whole new skin to itself. Some of the features spotted in development related to the new visual changes also had "Pixel" labels attached to them, according to teardowns. None of that outright indicated that the new design would be Pixel-only, but it did leave us concerned it might be.
Based on the details of today's announcement, it sounds like we can all breathe a sigh of relief — it's just a timed exclusive. Although the new redesign will be coming to Pixels first, that qualifier implies that other devices from other manufacturers may also get it. We don't know if that means this new look will be part of AOSP for anyone to use, or if there are other gotchas like licensing, but those of us that like the new Pixel look shown off by Google at I/O and in earlier leaks might be able to enjoy them on other phones, too.