Tech giants, Google have launched the third developer preview of the new Android 12 operating system.
This review, according to the company’s roadmap, will be the last before the operating system goes into the beta testing stage.
The Beta test is the first over-the-air updates for non-developers who want to try out the new operating system.
As usual, the preview comes with dozens of changes, tweaks here and there, some big, some small. Below are some of the major highlights of this new review.
1) Haptic feedback experiences in apps
Google has taken a leaf from Apple’s mostly abandoned Force Touch to introduce a Rich Haptic Feedback to its new operating system. The feature provides immersive and delightful effects for gaming and attentional haptics for productivity.
Haptic feedback is the use of touch to communicate with users. It not only allows you to send information by touch but also allows the device to touch you back.
Before now, the haptic feedback we have experienced is the now common feeling of vibration in a mobile phone or the rumble in a game controller. However, haptic feedback is much more than that.
It encompasses a huge variety of sensations such as pain, temperature, and the position and movement of your body in space. This makes it uniquely different from devices using the only predominant sense of sight and hearing.
Although the extent of the new Haptic feedback in Andriod 12 is unknown, an example of its use includes; “virtual touch” ultrasound technology, which creates tactile sensations in mid-air and VR, virtual touch haptics which combines with hand tracking to create controller-free VR haptic experiences.
2) App launch animations
The new app launch experience may be the most noticeable change here for both developers and users. According to the preview doc, the new animation will take the app from launch to a splash screen that shows the app’s icon and then to the app itself.
The current design includes the normal grid or list-icon design and a straight forward app launch on selection. However, with the new feature apps will get a bit of leeway on how they want to customize the splash screen.
Google says developers will be able to bring standard design elements to every app launch and also customizable apps to maintain their unique branding.
While this new feature will add more beauty to the UI of the Android, it is important to also note that it could lead to batteries draining fasters.
3) Call notification
Another cool feature on the list is the call notification template. The new feature is meant to make it easier for users to manage incoming and ongoing calls.
Google says these new notifications will be more visible and scannable.
4) API Support for ultra-high resolution camera sensors
There’s also new APIs to support a wider range of ultra high-resolution camera sensors. This will better camera support for ultra high-resolution sensors, like those with Quad or Nona Bayer patterns such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The APIs will help developers make better use of these cameras. Google says the new feature will translate to better performance from third-party camera apps.
5) Neural Network API for Machine
Other improvements to the Andriod OS includes a Neural Networks API for machine learning workloads and the deprecation of RenderScript API for running computationally intensive tasks in favour of GPU compute frameworks like Vulkan and OpenGL.
In addition to that, there have been minor tweaks on how apps offer alarms and the way OS handles links to specific apps. It is also updated to open the browser by default, rather than the standard app chooser dialog box.
Developers can grab the new preview now from Google’s developer site. However, they will have to flash a device image on a Pixel 3 or newer versions to test the new Android OS.
With the beta phase coming up, it’s time for developers to start compatibility testing to make sure their apps are ready. Currently, the plan is for Android 12 to reach platform stability by August 2021.
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