First preview of Android 12

Android 12 logo

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

On daily basis, Android apps assist billions of individuals work, play, talk, and create on a variety of units from telephones and laptops to tablets, TVs, and automobiles. As extra individuals come to depend on the experiences you construct, their expectations can rise simply as quick. It’s one of many causes we share Android releases with you early: your suggestions helps us construct a greater platform in your apps and the entire individuals who use them. In the present day, we’re releasing the primary Developer Preview of Android 12, the subsequent model of Android, in your testing and suggestions.

With every model, we’re working to make the OS smarter, simpler to make use of, and higher performing, with privateness and safety on the core. In Android 12 we’re additionally working to provide you new instruments for constructing nice experiences for customers. Beginning with issues like suitable media transcoding, which helps your app to work with the most recent video codecs in case you don’t already assist them, and simpler copy/paste of wealthy content material into your apps, like photographs and movies. We’re additionally including privateness protections and optimizing efficiency to maintain your apps responsive.

In the present day’s first preview is simply the beginning for Android 12, and we’ll have heaps extra to share as we transfer by way of the discharge. Learn on for a style of what’s new in Android 12, and go to the Android 12 developer site for particulars on downloads for Pixel and launch timeline. As at all times, it’s essential to get your suggestions early, to assist us incorporate it into the ultimate product, so let us know what you think!

Alongside the work we’re doing in Android 12, later this month we’ll have extra to share on one other necessary software that helps you create nice consumer experiences extra simply: Jetpack Compose, our fashionable toolkit for constructing native UI. Join us on #TheAndroidShow for a behind-the-scenes take a look at Jetpack Compose, livestreamed on February 24 at 9AM PT, and tweet your Jetpack Compose questions utilizing #TheAndroidShow to have them answered stay on the present.

Belief and security

Privateness is on the coronary heart of every thing we do, and in Android 12 we’re persevering with to concentrate on giving customers extra transparency and management whereas preserving their units and information safe. In at this time’s launch we’ve added new controls over identifiers that can be utilized for monitoring, safer defaults for app elements, and extra. These adjustments might have an effect on your apps, so we advocate testing as quickly as potential. Look ahead to extra privateness and security measures coming in later preview releases.

Fashionable SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView – In keeping with changes to Chrome and different browsers, WebView consists of new SameSite cookie behaviors to offer further safety and privateness and provides customers extra transparency and management over how cookies can be utilized throughout websites. More here.

Restricted Netlink MAC – We’re persevering with to assist builders migrate to privacy-protecting resettable identifiers. In a multi-release effort to ease migration of device-scoped Netlink MAC, in Android 11 we restricted entry to it primarily based on API degree 30, and in Android 12 we’re making use of the restriction for all apps – no matter targetSDK degree. More here.

Safer exporting of elements – To forestall apps from inadvertently exporting actions, providers, and receivers, we’re altering the default dealing with of the android:exported attribute to be extra express. With this modification, elements that declare a number of intent filters should now explicitly declare an android:exported attribute. You need to examine your elements within the manifest in an effort to keep away from set up errors associated to this modification. More here.

Safer dealing with of Intents – To make dealing with PendingIntents safer, Android 12 requires apps to explicitly declare a mutability flag, both FLAG_MUTABLE or the brand new FLAG_IMMUTABLE, for every PendingIntent. More here.

You possibly can learn extra about these and different privateness and safety adjustments here.

Higher consumer expertise instruments

In Android 12 we’re investing in key areas to assist ship a refined expertise and higher efficiency for customers. Listed here are a few of the updates to date.

Appropriate media transcoding – With the prevalence of HEVC {hardware} encoders on cellular units, digital camera apps are more and more capturing in HEVC format, which affords vital enhancements in high quality and compression over older codecs. Most apps ought to assist HEVC, however for apps that may’t, we’re introducing suitable media transcoding.

With this function, an app that doesn’t assist HEVC can have the platform routinely transcode the file into AVC, a format that’s extensively suitable. The transcoding course of takes time, relying on the video and {hardware} properties of the machine. For example, a one minute 1080p video at 30fps takes round 9 seconds to transcode on a Pixel 4. You possibly can opt-in to make use of the transcoding service by simply declaring the media codecs that your apps do not assist. For builders, we strongly advocate that your apps assist HEVC, and if that’s not potential, allow suitable media transcoding. The function shall be energetic on all units utilizing HEVC format for video seize. We might love to listen to your suggestions on this function. More here.

AVIF picture assist – To provide you increased picture high quality with extra environment friendly compression, Android 12 introduces platform assist for AV1 Image File Format (AVIF). AVIF is a container format for photographs and sequences of photographs encoded utilizing AV1. Like different fashionable picture codecs, AVIF takes benefit of the intra-frame encoded content material from video compression. This dramatically improves picture high quality for a similar file dimension when in comparison with older picture codecs, comparable to JPEG.

AVIF (18.2kB)

JPEG (20.7kB)

race car photo in AVIF (18.2kB)
race car photo in JPEG (20.7kB)

Credit score: Image comparison from AVIF has landed by Jake Archibald

Foreground service optimizations – Foreground providers are an necessary method for apps to handle sure sorts of user-facing duties, however when overused they’ll have an effect on efficiency and even result in app kills. To make sure a greater expertise for customers, we shall be blocking foreground service begins from the background for apps which can be concentrating on the brand new platform. To make it simpler to transition away from this sample, we’re introducing a brand new expedited job in JobScheduler that will get elevated course of precedence, community entry, and runs instantly no matter energy constraints like Battery Saver or Doze. For back-compatibility, we’ve additionally constructed expedited jobs into the most recent launch of Jetpack WorkManager library. Additionally, to scale back distraction for customers, we’re now delaying the show of some foreground service notifications by as much as 10 seconds. This provides short-lived duties an opportunity to finish earlier than their notifications are proven. More here.

Wealthy content material insertion – Customers love photographs, movies and different expressive content material, however inserting and transferring this content material in apps is just not at all times simple. To make it easy in your apps to obtain wealthy content material, we’re introducing a brand new unified API that permits you to settle for content material from any supply: clipboard, keyboard, or drag and drop. You possibly can connect a brand new interface, OnReceiveContentListener, to UI elements and get a callback when content material is inserted by way of any mechanism. This callback turns into the one place in your code to deal with insertion of all content material, from plain and styled textual content to markup, photographs, movies, audio information, and extra. For back-compatibility, we’ve added the unified API to AndroidX. More here.

Haptic-coupled audio impact – In Android 12 apps can present audio-coupled haptic suggestions by way of the telephone’s vibrator. The vibration energy and frequency are derived from an audio session, permitting you to create extra immersive recreation and audio experiences. For instance, a video calling app may use customized ringtones to determine the caller by way of haptic suggestions, or you may simulate tough terrain in a racing recreation. More here.

Immersive mode API enhancements for gesture nav – We’ve simplified immersive mode in order that gesture navigation is less complicated and extra constant, for instance when watching a video, studying a e-book, or taking part in a recreation. We’re nonetheless protecting apps from accidental gestures when in full-screen experiences associated to gaming, however in all different full-screen or immersive experiences (e.g. video viewers, studying, photograph gallery), for apps concentrating on the brand new platform, we’re altering the default to permit customers to navigate their telephone with one swipe. More here.

Notification UI updates – We’re refreshing notification designs to make them extra fashionable, simpler to make use of, and extra practical. On this first preview you’ll discover adjustments from the drawer and controls to the templates themselves. We’re additionally optimizing transitions and animations throughout the system to make them extra clean. As a part of the updates, for apps concentrating on Android 12 we’re adorning notifications with customized content material with icon and develop affordances to match all different notifications. More here.

Sooner, extra responsive notifications – When customers faucet a notification, they anticipate to leap instantly into the app – the quicker the higher. To fulfill that expectation, builders ought to guarantee that notification faucets set off Exercise begins immediately, reasonably than utilizing “trampolines” – an middleman broadcast receiver or service – to begin the Exercise. Notification trampolines may cause vital delays and have an effect on the consumer expertise. To maintain notifications responsive, Android 12 will block notification trampolines by stopping them from launching their goal Actions, and we’re asking builders emigrate away from this sample. The change applies solely to apps concentrating on the brand new platform, however for all apps we’ll show a toast to make trampolines seen to you and to customers. More here.

Improved Binder IPC calls – As a part of our work on efficiency, we’ve put a concentrate on decreasing system variability. We’ve taken a take a look at latency and workload distribution, and made optimizations that scale back the median expertise from the tail finish, or 99% percentile use case. In doing so, we’ve focused enhancements to system binder calls including light-weight caching methods and specializing in eradicating lock competition to enhance latency distribution. This has yielded roughly a 2x efficiency improve on Binder calls total, with vital enhancements in particular calls, for instance a 47x enchancment in refContentProvider(), 15x in releaseWakeLock(), and seven.9x in JobScheduler.schedule().

App compatibility

We’re working to make updates quicker and smoother by prioritizing app compatibility as we roll out new platform variations. In Android 12 we’ve made most app-facing adjustments opt-in to provide you extra time, and we’ve up to date our instruments and processes that can assist you prepare sooner. We’ve additionally added new performance to Google Play system updates to provide your apps a greater setting on Android 12 units.

Extra of Android up to date by way of Google Play – We’re persevering with to develop our funding in Google Play system updates (Mission Mainline) to provide apps a extra constant, safe setting throughout units. In Android 12 we’ve added the Android Runtime (ART) module that lets us push updates to the core runtime and libraries on units operating Android 12. We are able to enhance runtime efficiency and correctness, handle reminiscence extra effectively, and make Kotlin operations quicker – all with out requiring a full system replace. We’ve additionally expanded the performance of current modules – for instance, we’re delivering our suitable media transcoding function inside an updatable module.

Optimizing for tablets, foldables, and TVs – With extra individuals than ever utilizing apps on large-screen units like foldables, tablets, and TVs, now is a superb time to verify your app or recreation is prepared. Get began by optimizing for tablets and building apps for foldables. And, for the most important display within the house, the primary Android 12 preview for Android TV can also be obtainable. Along with bringing the most recent Android options to the TV with this preview, additionally, you will be capable to take a look at your apps on the all-new Google TV expertise. Study extra on the Android TV Developers website and get began along with your ADT-3 developer kit.

Up to date lists of non-SDK interfaces – We’ve restricted further non-SDK interfaces, and as at all times your suggestions and requests for public API equivalents are welcome.

Simpler testing and debugging of adjustments – To make it simpler so that you can take a look at the opt-in adjustments that may have an effect on your app, we’ve made a lot of them toggleable. WIth the toggles you may force-enable or disable the adjustments individually from Developer choices or adb. Check out the details here.

mobile display of App Compatibility Changes with toggles

App compatibility toggles in Developer Choices.

Platform stability milestone – Like final 12 months, we’re letting you realize our Platform Stability milestone effectively prematurely, to provide you extra time to plan for app compatibility work. At this milestone we’ll ship not solely closing SDK/NDK APIs, but additionally closing inside APIs and app-facing system behaviors. We’re anticipating to succeed in Platform Stability by August 2021, and also you’ll have a number of weeks earlier than the official launch to do your closing testing. The discharge timeline particulars are here.

The Developer Preview has every thing it’s essential to attempt the Android 12 options, take a look at your apps, and provides us feedback. You may get began at this time by flashing a device system image to a Pixel 3 / 3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 4 / 4 XL, Pixel 4a / 4a 5G, or Pixel 5 machine. For those who don’t have a Pixel machine, you should use the 64-bit system photographs with the Android Emulator in Android Studio.

If you’re set up, listed here are a few of the issues you need to do:

  • Attempt the brand new options and APIs – your suggestions is crucial in the course of the early a part of the developer preview. Report points in our tracker or give us direct suggestions by survey for chosen options from the feedback and requests web page.
  • Take a look at your present app for compatibility – the objective right here is to be taught whether or not your app is affected by default habits adjustments in Android 12. Simply set up your present printed app onto a tool or emulator operating Android 12 and take a look at.
  • Take a look at your app with opt-in adjustments – Android 12 has opt-in habits adjustments that solely have an effect on your app when it’s concentrating on the brand new platform. It’s extraordinarily necessary to grasp and assess these adjustments early. To make it simpler to check, you may toggle the changes on and off individually.

We’ll replace the preview system photographs and SDK repeatedly all through the Android 12 launch cycle. This preliminary preview launch is for builders solely and never supposed for each day or shopper use, so we’re making it obtainable by guide obtain solely. You possibly can flash a manufacturing unit picture to your Pixel machine, or you may sideload an OTA picture to a Pixel machine operating Android 11, through which case you received’t have to unlock your bootloader or wipe information. Both method, when you’ve manually put in a preview construct, you’ll routinely get future updates over-the-air for all later previews and Betas. More here.

As we get nearer to a closing product, we’ll be inviting shoppers to attempt it out as effectively, and we’ll open up enrollments by way of Android Beta at the moment. Keep tuned for particulars, however for now please observe that Android Beta is just not at present obtainable for Android 12.

For full data, visit the Android 12 developer site.

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