Smartphones give us the benefit of always being connected, making them a key instrument in any emergency situation. Google is looking to capitalize on that for Android 12 by boosting some of its most essential features. An all-new "Safety & emergency" section has been added to the settings menu, giving you quick access to your most vital details and linking directly to the Pixel's Personal Safety app. Read More
Setting up smart home hardware can be intensely frustrating. Sure, there are benefits and conveniences to having a bunch of connected devices in your home, but a surprising number of things can go wrong even just getting a light bulb or hub to reliably connect to Wi-Fi. On top of that, the setup process can mess with your phone's data connection, which makes troubleshooting even more of A Thing. But a change in Android 12 will help fix some of that, allowing you to maintain a simultaneous Wi-Fi connection to a peer device as well as your home access point. Read More
Android TV continues to grow as a platform, spurred on by the success of last year's Chromecast with Google TV. That device managed to undercut the old 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra by $20, making it an easy way to grab a streaming stick for your television without paying an arm and a leg. If that price is still too steep to justify throwing a media player in your spare bedroom, Walmart has the gadget for you. Its new Onn-branded 4K Android TV device is officially on sale for just $29. Read More
For the aesthetic obsessives out there, it's been an especially interesting beta cycle so far with Android 12. Material You brought a major tweak to the ripple animation and, if you asked certain critics about it, you would've thought Google had gone mad at the craft store for bottles of sparkles. Has relief come its way? Read More
Android 12 is decidedly the most significant update that the operating system has received in the last few years. While there are a lot of changes to parse through, the most notable one has been the new Material You design that has given a complete facelift to the interface. It could also be a major reason why a record number of Pixel users have rushed to be a part of the Android 12 beta program.
Android 12 beta 2 debuted the new operating system's much-anticipated automated theming system, which adjusts the colors of your phone's entire interface to match and complement the background wallpaper of your choice. We've been playing with it for the last day, but for a perfect example of why you'll want to check it out, we turn to Ars Technica Reviews Editor and Android Police alumnus Ron Amadeo. Read More
Android TV may have started as a small side project for Google, dwarfed in size by its own Chromecast devices, but it's quickly becoming a star in its own right. YouTube — a preinstalled app on every Android TV device — recently hit 100 million installs for its Android TV variant, giving us a good idea of the platform's growth. Read More