Google’s Android 12 Beta 2 tests privacy dashboard & features

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Android | iTMunch

Search engine titan Google has launched its 2nd version of Android 12 on June 9th 2021. Just about a month after Google unveiled Android 12 public beta, the tech giant is now all set to roll out its Beta 2 update. 

The update comes with a host of additional amazing features that previously were not available. Certain features and elements of Android 12 have been dropped which makes Beta 2 much more refined and complete as compared to Beta 1.

First announced in February, Android 12 didn’t really come into effect until May, when Alphabet-owned Google unveiled its complete Android 12 version, including the all new Material You. The first aspects of the “Material You” included a new design language, widget updates and much more.

Clearly, Google does not plan to be outdone by Apple’s iOS and its WWDC. Android 12 is shaping up to become one of the largest software releases from the tech giant Google in years. Here’s all you need to know about the latest features being tested in Android 12 Beta 2.

What is Material You in Android 12?

One of the noteworthy things to talk about with Android 12 is its new design. The name of the next design phase for Google’s Android is ‘Material You’. As the name implies, ‘Material You’ will focus on making Android more personalized than ever before. 

When setting a new wallpaper in Android 12, the user will be asked if they would also want to also add a new theme, based on the colors of that wallpaper. Android 12 analyzes all the colors in the wallpaper, uses a bit of Artificial Intelligence and integrates them across the entire OS.

The custom theme’s colors can be seen by users in the notification shade, widgets and Google applications. Once the developers add support, the theme will also be seen in third-party apps. Initially, custom themes will be exclusive to Google Pixel users, but now the tech giant says that the feature is available to other Android phones later.

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Privacy Dashboard & features of Android 12 Beta 2

With more people becoming aware of the privacy concerns that social media platforms have, there’s increasing need for devices and platforms people can trust when it comes to their data. Keeping this in mind, Android 12 Beta 2 has incorporated many privacy features during its I/O conference. Users will now be able to view the Privacy Dashboard in the Settings app. 

Through the Privacy Dashboard, users will be able to see which permissions are being used by which apps and which ones have been used in the past 24 hours. Users just need to tap on specific permission, like location, and they’ll be shown a chronological timeline of when the permission was used and by which app. 

Privacy indicators are also available for camera and microphone. For example, if someone opens Snapchat on their smartphone, the microphone and camera icons will appear on the top right corner. This will indicate that the two permissions are being used. 

Additionally, if the user doesn’t want the camera and microphone to be accessed, they can instantly disable the two from Quick Settings. 

Furthermore, whenever any app reads the clipboard by using the getPrimaryClip() method, Android 12 Beta 2 will now be showing a “toast message” at the bottom. However, this toast message will not be shown if the clipboard has been copied from the same app. 

Key changes introduced by Android 12 Beta 12

The tech giant started teasing about its Android 12 this since February when it released the 1st developer preview for the OS. There’s been a total of 3 developer previews since then and each added a set of new features and some design tweaks. These included a one-handed mode, improvements to picture-in-picture and upgraded notifications.

One of the other big changes brought in by Android 12 Beta 2 is the custom theme engine is available to use for all. Once applied, the custom theme will match the colors of the wallpaper to the appearance of settings app, lock screen clock, quick settings and third-party apps (as support is added). 

This is surely one of the most awaited and exciting features of Android 12. Apart from custom themes, Android 12 Beta 2 also added a few new functionalities to the Quick Settings. The new Internet toggle gives quick access to data and Wi-Fi connections with just a tap.

It seamlessly combines the mobile data and Wi-Fi toggles into one single shortcut, which reduces some of the clutter of the quick settings. Android 12 Beta 2 also brings new toggles for smart home controls and Google Pay, in addition to shortcuts to change user profiles and power menu.

There are more smaller tweaks that have been made to the operating system that make the entire experience more refined. The huge volume slider from Beta 1 has been replaced with a slimmer one that feels more appropriate. The tech giant also redesigned Android’s power menu.

There’s now a Google Pay shortcut available on the lock screen. The ripple effect which was seen in Beta 1 has been dropped and few settings have been strengthened for better navigation. 

The third and final version of Android 12 Beta is to be launched in August 2021. After this, Android 12 will be completely released to the entire Android user base in its finalized form. Android 12 Beta 12 already feels pretty good. Most of the features from Beta 2 are working as projected, the bugs and funks found in Beta 1 have been dealt with.

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Image Courtesy:  Image by andrekheren from Pixabay

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