Pixel phones have become pretty customizable thanks to the Pixel Themes app first introduced with Android 10, but there's one part of the Pixel skin that you can't tweak too much — the lock screen. The Android 10 beta suggested that we might get some custom clocks at some point, but when the OS went stable, no traces of alternative clocks were left. That might change with Android 12. It looks like Google will include Pixel-exclusive lock screen clocks.
Before the first Android 12 developer preview landed, some leaked mockups suggested that we're in for a pretty big redesign with wallpaper-based theming, a new notification shade, and conversation widgets. Most of these features have already been spotted hiding in the first developer preview, and now, we're also getting our first look at conversation widgets thanks to XDA.
You know these notifications you tap and then nothing happens until a minute or two have passed? Twitter used to be guilty of this, but there are still tons of apps out there that exhibit this behavior. Google is looking to make this a thing of the past on Android 12, forbidding apps from using so-called notification trampolines. That should effectively banish slowly loading notifications, and the change is already having an effect on apps on Android 12 today — and we learned that Google apps are among the worst offenders.
Google released the first Android 12 developer preview yesterday, and our friends over at XDA are already digging deep into the code to find out what Google might have planned for future releases of the new OS. In the process, they managed to activate a few flags that pave the way for a brand-new interface.
The Android 12 Developer Preview lands today! Breaking with the expected schedule, Google has just pushed out our very first taste of the next version of Android, available now for the Pixel 3 series, 3a series, Pixel 4 series, Pixel 4a series, and the lonesome Pixel 5. Developers that this release actually targets can also get their Android 12 on via Android Studio's emulator.
Android 11 introduced a new screenshot UI with its own floating panel with editing and sharing options at the bottom, but getting rid of it fast has always been cumbersome. You'd have to aim for a small x in the top right corner of the miniature preview of the screenshot. Android 12 is looking to change that and allows you to swipe away the screenshot UI — but only when you swipe to the left.
This first developer preview has a ton of developer-facing changes, but fewer visual tweaks than we expected to see, given prior leaks. However, there are some notable visual changes, like these new toggles that appear in some sections of Settings. Weirdly, they don't replace the old toggles everywhere, but they are live in a few spots.
Android 12 Developer Preview 1 is here, but it's not exactly easy to get. Because this first Android 12 version is meant for developers, Google isn't just making it an opt-in process like later beta versions will be. But, if you're willing to take the risk (and not get upset if and when things go wrong), here's where to get it.