Here’s a quick summary of all you need to know about the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system – and how to try it out for yourself.
The Android 12 operating system was announced at Google I/O 2021, and it will bring new software features to many existing and upcoming Android phones. In the article, we break down the three key changes that are coming with the update, and how you can install it onto your own device.
Android 12’s best new features
The Material You change means that your choice of wallpaper will change the colour palette throughout the operating system, and there are a few other nice touches including the screen lighting up from where you’ve tapped it, a larger clock, and a simpler notifications screen
A new privacy dashboard will you show which apps have accessed what data and there’s an indicator to let you know when the camera or microphone is in use, for greater transparency
Google can’t hope to match Apple’s inter-device compatibility, but nonetheless there is now greater interactivity with other Google devices like Chromecasts and Chromebooks, and in the near future we’ll see Car Key features for BMW, among other manufacturers.
How to download Android 12
If you want to get you hands on the latest Android software (currently in its Beta-1 phase), then first of all you’ll need a compatible device. All of the Pixel phones are eligible (including the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4a 5G), along with a select clutch of other phones including: OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 11.
If one of these is in your possession, simply log in to the Android Beta Programme, select Opt-In for your device, and choose Join Beta. Then, via the menu system on your phone, follow this route to access the latest software: Settings > System > Advanced > System Update > Check for update.