Google has been ramping up its efforts to get people to stop driving with a wheel in one hand and a smartphone in the other. Many of the things in Google's driving experience are getting an upgrade, if not an entirely new interface, including the classic Android Auto, the phone-oriented Assistant driving mode, and even the upcoming Android Automotive.
Pastel color schemes that adapt to your taste and buttons with low-radius corners are the hallmarks of the Material You design scheme for Android and it's been taking over Google's apps one by one. We're now seeing a drip and a drop of its essence coming down to Maps.
One of the headline features of Android 12, at least on Pixel phones, is the new Material You design language and its core component, the "Monet" theming system. It takes a quite unconventional approach to Android theming, automatically assembling a color palette based on a user's wallpaper and applying it all over the UI. That's fine for Google's own phones, but what about those from other manufacturers? Although this theming system won't hit AOSP in time for Android 12, it now looks like Google is planning to make dynamic theming open-source for a future Android release.
As we get closer to the official launch of Android 12, Google is updating more of its apps to support all of its new Material You themes. Gboard was one of the first to receive a makeover, with its fresh color scheme now available to anyone running the latest Android beta. However, it seems like the look isn't quite complete yet, as new Material You elements are on the way in an upcoming release.
It took Google a long time to include a podcast app on Android by default, eventually building one directly into its mobile search application. It's become surprisingly popular thanks to its ease of use and free accessibility, and it's about to look a whole lot better too. Fresh off of some changes to its core UI, Google Podcasts is next up for its Material You makeover, and it's looking pretty spiffy if we do say so ourselves.
Android 12 Developer Preview 2 added a hidden taskbar in the Google Pixel launcher that made it easier to switch between apps on large-screen devices like tablets. However, Google didn't make any major improvements to the feature in subsequent beta releases. It looks like the company has instead been holding it back and worked on improving it behind the scenes for Android 12.1.
As the release of Android 12 creeps closer, Google is spreading out its new Material You design language to all the corners of its software kingdom. As of this weekend, that includes the Android version of Google Docs, and its associated Sheets and Slides tools. We're seeing the staggered rollout come in from multiple sources and tipsters.
Google is alerting app developers to some big coding changes ahead of the planned expansion of Android's permission auto-reset policy. This means more users will have permissions they've granted to apps automatically revoked starting in December. Here's what you need to know as a consumer.