Usually, when Google announces Android previews or betas, the company focuses on developer-oriented details like new APIs. But, as Android 12 Beta 2 rolls out today, Google is hyping up long-awaited user-facing changes, like the new Privacy Dashboard, the microphone and camera access indicators it's been working on in various forms since 2019 (plus quick settings toggles for both), and a new "connectivity experience" that makes it easier to switch between data sources.
Android 12 Beta 1 is here, and with it are a handful of previouslyleaked privacy tweaks. On top of those already live in the current release, like the new approximate location permission and Bluetooth scanning tweaks, Google has also laid out the schedule for its new camera and microphone indicators and Privacy Dashboard. Some of these features have been in development for years. But today, at Google I/O, the company is finally showing them off.
We're anxiously awaiting Google's first Android 12 preview release, which we expect may land in the next month or so. But even though we haven't seen it yet, plenty of details regarding the new release are public, between leaks and Google's own public plans. Right now, there are five big features we're looking forward to — assuming Google doesn't push any of them back (again).
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.