Android 11 introduced a new floating screenshot panel with editing and sharing options that pops up at the bottom of your display after taking a screenie, 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 screenshot preview. Android 12 changes that and allows you to swipe away the screenshot UI. While the first two developer previews only allowed you to swipe to the left, the third release finally allows you to swipe in either direction.
We've been following Android 12's new screen-dimming feature for some time — not because it's that revolutionary, but because Google keeps changing the name for it. We've gone through "Reduce Bright Colors" and "Reduce Brightness," but as of DP3, Google appears to have settled on a less easily understandable "extra dim" name.
It's clear now that Android 12 will include a major visual refresh for the first time in years, but it's not just a new coat of paint. Google is using this as an opportunity to clean up its OS, rearranging the location of certain settings to make them more straightforward to find. In Android 12 DP3, accounts management has been tweaked, with all of your login information easier to access without jumping between menus.
Thanks to some recent leaks, we already knew that Android 12 would be getting new universal splash screens for its apps. It's a slight touch, but it certainly helps keep everything feeling a little more uniform in design. With Android 12 DP3 now out in the wild, we've finally gotten to check out these splash screens in action, complete with support for dark mode depending on your system preferences.
One of the smaller but more interesting changes spotted in Android 12 Developer Preview 3 is a new level of granular control over apps that can access the notification listener service. In Android 11, it's an all-or-nothing switch: either a helper app (like Android Wear, Android Auto, or Fitbit) can access all your notification data, or it can't. Starting with A12 DP3, things are a little more subtle.
Frequent travelers know that Android's ability to create a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot anywhere is a lifesaver. But it's also best to use 5GHz Wi-Fi if at all possible, because the close quarters of use for a laptop result in higher speeds. The latest change spotted in Android 12 Developer Preview 3 really steers users towards that choice, going so far as to hide the 2.4GHz setting in another sub-menu.
Google can't seem to stop changing its quick settings panel on Android. Last year's OS reduced the number of toggles available on-screen at once from nine to six to make room for a controversial new media player. While Android 12 doesn't look to replace its missing quick settings row, it includes some extra context with each tile to display whether it's on or off, above and beyond the color cues currently provided.
Android 12's last developer preview before the beta landed yesterday, and it comes with some rather significant design and usability tweaks. People relying on the operating system's accessibility options are also in for some changes. Google has removed the old two-finger swipe accessibility menu shortcut in favor of a plain ol' floating button.
Android 12 Developer Preview 3 is packed with neat little design and usability tweaks, and these changes even extend into the smallest bits and pieces. When you view an app's info (by long-pressing its launcher icon and tapping the i button), you'll notice the same "silky home" design changes as seen in the settings app and a redone "Open by default" section that's in line with the new default link opening behavior introduced in this Android 12 release.