We may have just caught our first glimpse of Android 12. A handful of images purported to be screenshots that illustrate features in the next release have been published by XDA Developers, originating from what is reportedly an early draft of an internal Google document. They indicate bigger visual changes than we might have expected, plus a long-awaited privacy feature that's been under development since Android 10 Q, and which iOS got just last year.
Notification management has always been the feature that Android absolutely nails, and we've already covered that Google continues improving it in Android 11 with the addition of a conversations class. It bundles real-time, bi- or multidirectional communication at the top of the notification shade. We've now also noticed that these conversations notifications offer a slew of new long-press options that help you manage them. The long-press menu for regular notifications remains unchanged, though.
Android 11 is now official, and Google is releasing the first Developer Preview for this new version starting today. The software changes this time sound ambitious, with Google essentially taking most of its work on Android 10 and (literally) turning it up to 11, featuring enhancements to privacy and security, improvements to Project Mainline, a new dedicated "conversations" section for notifications, and tweaks to better harness 5G — all among a much longer list of changes just too big to include here. You can check it out for yourself by manually flashing it onto supported Pixel phones (everything but the 2016 OGs).
Right now, sharing individual pictures from your Google Photos account is a hassle because each picture has to be its own album. But for sane people, they'd rather have it a simpler way. After lots of work and tailoring, Google has responded with a private, in-app conversation client for users to share any number of photos and videos one-on-one or with certain groups.
WhatsApp has had a very fruitful and active day, going through no less than 5 updates in the span of 24 hours. The app's developers introduced a series of new options and seem to be fixing bugs with successive iterative updates from v2.12.189 to the most recent v2.12.194.
The most significant change in this series of updates is the new custom notifications settings. When you open a contact's or group's details page, you'll see a new Notifications box below the Media one. In it is the option to mute the chat for 8 hours, 1 week, or 1 year, as well as extensive custom notifications.
WhatsApp Web has been available for about half a year, and in the time since its announcement, it only got some minor changes like skin tone emojis. However, the service has received a backend update that adds a lot of the mobile app's features, making it easy for you to manage your conversations from the web interface without having to grab your phone. We don't know when exactly these changes were implemented, but they seem quite new to us.
First up, your profile photo and status are editable now. Simply hover over your photo and you'll get the option to change it. An edit icon appears next to the status and lets you share all of your feels with your contacts.
Though Google may have fixed two infamous SMS issues via the recent Android 2.2.2 and 2.3.2 updates, it appears at least one bug is still unconquered. Namely, some users are reporting that when they tap on the "New Message" alert in the notification bar, all their SMS conversations get deleted.
Our tipster experienced this on his HTC Desire Z, but he tells us that two of his friends - one using a Nexus One and the other on a Galaxy S - have come across the same bug. Additionally, several Google Code users have encountered this issue on their Motorola Droids, Droid Incredibles, EVOs, and other Android devices.