In exploring the latest build of Android 12 before full public launch, the feature we found to have the most potential to impact the everyday average user’s future experience was Splash Screens. Developers have included basic splash screens in apps for years, but with what Google calls its “improved app launch experience”, every single app will be impacted in some way. This is a by-default system with which apps are opened and closed – and it could be awesome.
Google’s “improved app launch experience” will be the most immediately apparent change to Android 12 for most users. With this update, Google suggests they’re “making app startup a more consistent and delightful experience.” To do this, they’re including a new app launch animation for all apps.
When any app opens in Android 12, the user will see a new app launch animation, “a splash screen showing the app icon, and a transition to the app itself.” This will be standard and by-default for all apps from launch. Google also noted today that they’ve “made it customizable so apps can maintain their unique branding.”
This new splash screen system allows developers to control background color, replace the default (static) launcher icon with a custom icon or animation, control light/dark mode, control timing of the launch sequence (to a certain degree), and “manage exit animation.”
This splash screen system could potentially allow developers to construct a far more immersive app launcher experience, too. Since this splash screen launch and exit system for apps is controlled by the developer of the app, it wouldn’t necessarily be possible for a launcher to utilize the system for an all-encompassing experience – at least not right away.
Imagine, though, if a smartphone manufacturer got all of its basic apps onboard with a single launch and exit splash screen animation system. Imagine, for example, the whole UI of a phone is metal, and each time an app is opened, a splash screen makes it look like the phone is opening a metal box to reveal said app. Upon exit, each app could appear to be pushed back into said metal box.
It could be very silly, it could be very cool. We’re crossing our fingers that this all leads to something extraordinary. Take a peek at more Android 12 action in the timeline below and be sure to download Android 12 DP3 now if you’re a developer, or the Android 12 Public Beta 1 next month if you’re an adventurous early adopter.