First preview of Android 12

Android 12 logo

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Daily, Android apps assist billions of individuals work, play, talk, and create on a variety of gadgets from telephones and laptops to tablets, TVs, and vehicles. As extra folks 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 to your apps and all the individuals who use them. At this time, we’re releasing the primary Developer Preview of Android 12, the following model of Android, to 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 newest video codecs in the event you don’t already help them, and simpler copy/paste of wealthy content material into your apps, like pictures and movies. We’re additionally including privateness protections and optimizing efficiency to maintain your apps responsive.

At this time’s first preview is simply the beginning for Android 12, and we’ll have heaps extra to share as we transfer by means 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 vital instrument 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 all the pieces we do, and in Android 12 we’re persevering with to give attention to giving customers extra transparency and management whereas conserving their gadgets and information safe. In immediately’s launch we’ve added new controls over identifiers that can be utilized for monitoring, safer defaults for app parts, and extra. These adjustments might have an effect on your apps, so we suggest testing as quickly as attainable. Look ahead to extra privateness and security measures coming in later preview releases.

Trendy SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView – According to changes to Chrome and different browsers, WebView contains new SameSite cookie behaviors to supply extra 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 based mostly on API stage 30, and in Android 12 we’re making use of the restriction for all apps – no matter targetSDK stage. More here.

Safer exporting of parts – To forestall apps from inadvertently exporting actions, companies, and receivers, we’re altering the default dealing with of the android:exported attribute to be extra express. With this transformation, parts that declare a number of intent filters should now explicitly declare an android:exported attribute. You need to examine your parts within the manifest in an effort to keep away from set up errors associated to this transformation. 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 may 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 cultured expertise and higher efficiency for customers. Listed below are a few of the updates up to now.

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

With this function, an app that doesn’t help HEVC can have the platform robotically 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 system. For instance, a one minute 1080p video at 30fps takes round 9 seconds to transcode on a Pixel 4. You may opt-in to make use of the transcoding service by simply declaring the media codecs that your apps do not help. For builders, we strongly suggest that your apps help HEVC, and if that’s not attainable, allow suitable media transcoding. The function shall be lively on all gadgets utilizing HEVC format for video seize. We would love to listen to your suggestions on this function. More here.

AVIF picture help – To offer you greater picture high quality with extra environment friendly compression, Android 12 introduces platform help for AV1 Image File Format (AVIF). AVIF is a container format for pictures and sequences of pictures 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 companies are an vital approach for apps to handle sure varieties of user-facing duties, however when overused they will 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 are 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 newest 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 pictures, movies and different expressive content material, however inserting and transferring this content material in apps will not be at all times simple. To make it easy to your apps to obtain wealthy content material, we’re introducing a brand new unified API that allows you to settle for content material from any supply: clipboard, keyboard, or drag and drop. You may connect a brand new interface, OnReceiveContentListener, to UI parts and get a callback when content material is inserted by means of any mechanism. This callback turns into the one place to your code to deal with insertion of all content material, from plain and styled textual content to markup, pictures, movies, audio information, and extra. For back-compatibility, we’ve added the unified API to AndroidX. More here.

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

Multi-channel audio – Android 12 contains a number of enhancements for audio with spatial info. It provides help for MPEG-H playback in passthrough and offload mode, and the audio mixers, resamplers and results have been optimized for as much as 24 channels (the earlier most was 8).

Immersive mode API enhancements for gesture nav – We’ve simplified immersive mode in order that gesture navigation is simpler and extra constant, for instance when watching a video, studying a guide, or enjoying a sport. 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, picture 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 easy. As a part of the updates, for apps concentrating on Android 12 we’re adorning notifications with customized content material with icon and broaden affordances to match all different notifications. More here.

Quicker, extra responsive notifications – When customers faucet a notification, they count on to leap instantly into the app – the quicker the higher. To fulfill that expectation, builders ought to ensure that notification faucets set off Exercise begins instantly, moderately than utilizing “trampolines” – an middleman broadcast receiver or service – to start out 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 give attention to 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 enhance on Binder calls general, 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 gadgets.

Extra of Android up to date by means of Google Play – We’re persevering with to broaden our funding in Google Play system updates (Undertaking Mainline) to provide apps a extra constant, safe setting throughout gadgets. In Android 12 we’ve added the Android Runtime (ART) module that lets us push updates to the core runtime and libraries on gadgets operating Android 12. We will 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 folks than ever utilizing apps on large-screen gadgets like foldables, tablets, and TVs, now is a superb time to ensure your app or sport is prepared. Get began by optimizing for tablets and building apps for foldables. And, for the largest display within the dwelling, the primary Android 12 preview for Android TV can also be obtainable. Along with bringing the newest Android options to the TV with this preview, additionally, you will have the ability to check your apps on the all-new Google TV expertise. Be taught extra on the Android TV Developers web site and get began along with your ADT-3 developer kit.

Up to date lists of non-SDK interfaces – We’ve restricted extra 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 check the opt-in adjustments that may have an effect on your app, we’ve made lots of them toggleable. WIth the toggles you’ll be able to 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 yr, we’re letting you recognize our Platform Stability milestone effectively upfront, to provide you extra time to plan for app compatibility work. At this milestone we’ll ship not solely ultimate SDK/NDK APIs, but additionally ultimate inside APIs and app-facing system behaviors. We’re anticipating to achieve Platform Stability by August 2021, and also you’ll have a number of weeks earlier than the official launch to do your ultimate testing. The discharge timeline particulars are here.

The Developer Preview has all the pieces you want to strive the Android 12 options, check your apps, and provides us feedback. You will get began immediately 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 system. For those who don’t have a Pixel system, you should utilize the 64-bit system pictures with the Android Emulator in Android Studio.

Once you’re set up, listed below are a few of the issues it’s best to do:

  • Attempt the brand new options and APIs – your suggestions is vital through 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.
  • Check your present app for compatibility – the aim right here is to study whether or not your app is affected by default conduct adjustments in Android 12. Simply set up your present revealed app onto a tool or emulator operating Android 12 and check.
  • Check your app with opt-in adjustments – Android 12 has opt-in conduct adjustments that solely have an effect on your app when it’s concentrating on the brand new platform. It’s extraordinarily vital to grasp and assess these adjustments early. To make it simpler to check, you’ll be able to toggle the changes on and off individually.

We’ll replace the preview system pictures and SDK repeatedly all through the Android 12 launch cycle. This preliminary preview launch is for builders solely and never supposed for every day or shopper use, so we’re making it obtainable by guide obtain solely. You may flash a manufacturing facility picture to your Pixel system, or you’ll be able to sideload an OTA picture to a Pixel system operating Android 11, during which case you gained’t must unlock your bootloader or wipe information. Both approach, when you’ve manually put in a preview construct, you’ll robotically get future updates over-the-air for all later previews and Betas. More here.

As we get nearer to a ultimate product, we’ll be inviting customers to strive it out as effectively, and we’ll open up enrollments by means of Android Beta at the moment. Keep tuned for particulars, however for now please word that Android Beta will not be at the moment obtainable for Android 12.

For full info, visit the Android 12 developer site.

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