Google has a very unusual methodology for launching new versions of Android. Instead of first presenting the update, then starting pre-testing, and then releasing it afterward, the company acts completely differently. Not only has Google mixed up the order of launching the beta-testing program and the announcement, but it has also come up with the idea of testing Android updates in two independent stages, which are separated by a presentation announcing all the upcoming innovations. So the launch of the first stage is almost always a surprise. But not in the case of Android 12.
Google will launch Android 12 beta testing for developers literally from one day to the next. Most likely, the first test build will be released early next week – Monday or Tuesday. This is indicated by an update to the Android Beta Feedback app, through which early access program participants report to Google about the detected shortcomings of the operating system. Since it’s just a kind of questionnaire presented in app format, it doesn’t need any interim updates, which means Google is getting ready to start testing Android 12.
What’s New In Android 12?
The fact that Google is about to release Android 12 Developer Preview is evidenced by the experience of previous years. For example, the first test build of Android 11 was released on February 19, and Android 10 was released on March 19. It may seem like Google is forcing the issue. But given that last year, it had very little time to test and debug the update, it’s possible that this year the company wants to take a little more time.
After all, it’s always more efficient to collect information about update problems if it’s tested by thousands of users than by a group of 10-20 developers.
And there will be a lot to test. Here’s a preliminary list of innovations that await us in Android 12:
- Tapping recognition on the back cover;
- Support for swipeable screenshots;
- Advanced backup feature;
- Support for WireGuard VPN protocol;
- The mechanism to unload unused applications;
- Analysis of the demand for applications during migration;
- Advanced multitasking;
- Native Ultra Wideband support;
- Prohibition of third-party payment tools on Google Play.
Obviously, this is not a complete list of innovations. Most likely, we should wait for extended support for the digitization of documents, the implementation of which Google started two years ago. But it’s pointless to argue that more innovations are expected than the year before.
When is Android 12 coming out for my smartphone?
As for the timing of testing Android 12, it is likely that the testing of Developer Preview – builds for developers – will last until just before the end of May. Then we should wait for the official presentation of the update at the Google I/O conference. It may take place both offline and online, given the uncertainty with the further development of the pandemic coronavirus infection. But one way or another, we should expect the event to be scheduled for late May or early June. From then on, the open beta test will begin, which will end with a September release.
Another thing is that for most users, the very fact of the launch of Android 12 will mean almost nothing. After all, only owners of Google Pixel smartphones are guaranteed to get the update, while everyone else will have to wait for the decision of manufacturers, who will determine which devices will receive the update and, most importantly, when they will get it. Practice shows that the update period can take from 3-4 months to six months for new devices and from six months to a year for older devices.