Google’s Pixel event today signals not only the arrival of the Pixel 6 lineup but also the arrival of Android 12. The latest version of Android is available today, and surprising absolutely no one, it’ll be landing on Pixel devices first. Android 12 is a big release for Google, thanks in no small part to the rollout of Material You.
We’ve known about Material You for months at this point, but essentially, it’s a new design philosophy behind the way Android should look. With Material You, setting a new wallpaper will change the way other parts of the Android UI look, with things like the lockscreen, widgets, and some apps changing their color schemes to match that of your new wallpaper.
Google reiterated today that new widgets are on the way as well. By the end of this month, Google says that we should have more than 12 “totally new or refreshed widgets” from Google apps that support Material You and can be placed on the homescreen. Android 12 will also include new accessibility and security features, including a window magnifier and an indicator for the status bar that shows when your microphone and camera are in use. Users can also opt to give apps their approximate location instead of their precise whereabouts.
On the topic of location services, Android 12 will also include new Bluetooth permissions that will allow device companion apps to connect without needing to access location information. We’ll also see support for new features like scrolling screenshots, Nearby Share for WiFi login credentials, the ability to start playing a game with only a partial download, and an easier data transfer system for both older Android phones and iPhones.
Google has confirmed that Android 12 is rolling out today for Pixel 3 devices and later. While we don’t have launch dates for other flagships, Google says that we should see the operating system land on phones from Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi later on this year. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for more from those manufacturers, and we’ll let you know when Android 12 starts arriving on their respective devices.