Android Police

Android 12

8

Third-party app stores like Amazon's will be less annoying to use on Android 12

Third-party app stores like Amazon's will be less annoying to use on Android 12

Android has always been open, for a given value of "open," a property that companies like Samsung, Amazon, and Epic have used to create their own alternatives to the Play Store. But actually using those alternatives has always been a bit of a headache, with Android itself treating each individual app downloaded as a side-loaded app. Starting with Android 12, using alternative app stores will be a little more seamless, at least some of the time.

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51

You'll have to wait for Beta 2 to get Android 12's new camera and mic blocking toggles

You'll have to wait for Beta 2 to get Android 12's new camera and mic blocking toggles

Android 12 is looking quite different from its predecessors, but the OS also has a few new tricks under the hood — particularly in the privacy department. The new Android version gives you clear indicators when an app is using your camera or your microphone in the top right corner of your display, so you're never caught off guard (many other manufacturers already include this in their custom Android software). But what if you want to be extra sure that no app can see or hear you? Google added two dedicated toggles for that, and they will go live on Android 12 Beta 2.

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9

Android 12 Beta introduces support for Bluetooth LE Audio

Android 12 Beta introduces support for Bluetooth LE Audio

Android 12 news is coming fast and furious at the moment, but one of the smallest changes introduced in Beta 1 might make life a little easier for fans of Bluetooth headphones. The beta introduced support for Bluetooth LE Audio, a low-energy, high-efficiency mode for headphones and other audio devices. The API support is live now: if your headphones support LE Audio, they should use it automatically when connecting.

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5

Android 12's new Emergency SOS feature is back in Beta 1

Android 12's new Emergency SOS feature is back in Beta 1

Back during the first Developer Preview for Android 12, a new iOS-like Emergency SOS feature was spotted that let you panic-smash your power button five times to make an emergency call. The feature disappeared from Settings in subsequent releases, but it's back as of Beta 1.

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16

Android 12 Beta 1 changes the way you'll set your alarms for the next day

Android 12 Beta 1 changes the way you'll set your alarms for the next day

While some modern options exist for replacing your aging alarm clock, most of us have made the switch to waking up with our phones. Android's default clock app is a great way to wake up in the morning, alongside dozens of great apps available on the Play Store. Thanks to a new quick settings tile in Android 12 Beta 1, adding and modifying alarms is about to get a whole lot easier.

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2

App hibernation is live in Android 12 Beta 1

App hibernation is live in Android 12 Beta 1

Most smartphone users have at least a few apps that they've installed, played around with for a day or so, and then entirely forgotten. These apps are using up precious storage and CPU cycles, so Google's been working on a way to get rid of them in a more subtle way. It's called app hibernation, and we've heard about it as an Android 12 feature for a while.  Apparently it's live in the Android 12 beta released yesterday.

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20

Android 12's dynamic theming will still let you choose your own awful colors if you insist

Android 12's dynamic theming will still let you choose your own awful colors if you insist

Among the bigger changes coming to Android 12 is the new "Monet" dynamic theming system that pulls colors from your background. It's not user-facing in the beta releases yet, but there was already some concern that you'd have to simply accept whichever colors it chose from your background. Thankfully, Google tells us that you'll be able to select your own colors instead if you prefer.

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4

How to give apps only your approximate location on Android 12

How to give apps only your approximate location on Android 12

Apple and Google are each slow-stepping their ways to giving their customers more privacy options up front when they want to interact with apps. For example, Android has been offering users the choice to give specific permissions like access to location data to an app for one time only, while the app is in use, or not at all. With Android 12, users get to control how accurate the location data they give is.

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7

Android 12 will let you know when an app is using your clipboard

Android 12 will let you know when an app is using your clipboard

We're all excited for the new design coming with Android 12, but Google's also implementing a ton of changes under the hood as well. User safety is more important than ever these days, and the new Privacy Dashboard should help keep you informed about where and when your data is being accessed. Google is also adding a new toast message any time an app accesses copied text, though it's not active in Android just yet.

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14

Android 12 apps won't ask for location permissions when all they want is Bluetooth scanning (which yes, was a thing)

Android 12 apps won't ask for location permissions when all they want is Bluetooth scanning (which yes, was a thing)

Last year, Google rolled out a permissions exemption for contact-tracing apps that allowed them to scan for Bluetooth devices (you know, to keep track of people you may have been too close to during peak Covid) without needing to call the full location permission to do that, as they had to before. Now that change is rolling out even more widely. Android 12 Beta 1 has a new permission just for Bluetooth scanning.

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