Google has released Android 12 Beta 2 for developers bringing new privacy features like Privacy Dashboard, toast notification and more. There’s a lot for developers in Android 12 – from redesigned UI and app widgets, to rich haptics, improved video and image quality, privacy features like approximate location, and more.
Google has added a Privacy Dashboard to give users better visibility over the data that apps are accessing. The dashboard offers a simple and clear timeline view of all recent app accesses to microphone, camera, and location. Users can also request details from an app on why it has accessed sensitive data, and developers can provide this information in an activity by handling a new system intent, ACTION_VIEW_PERMISSION_USAGE_FOR_PERIOD.
Indicators have been added to the status bar to let users know when apps are using the device camera or microphone. Users can go to Quick Settings to see which apps are accessing their camera or microphone data and manage permissions if needed. For developers, we recommend reviewing your app’s uses of the microphone and camera and removing any that users would not expect.
Microphone & camera toggles – There are now Quick Settings toggles on supported devices that make it easy for users to instantly disable app access to the microphone and camera. When the toggles are turned off, an app accessing these sensors will receive blank camera and audio feeds, and the system handles notifying the user to enable access to use the app’s features. Developers can use a new API, SensorPrivacyManager, to check whether toggles are supported on the device. The microphone and camera controls apply to all apps regardless of their platform targeting.
Clipboard read notification – To give users more transparency on when apps are reading from the clipboard, Android 12 now displays a toast at the bottom of the screen each time an app calls getPrimaryClip(). Android won’t show the toast if the clipboard was copied from the same app. We recommend minimizing your app’s reads from the clipboard, and making sure that you only access the clipboard when it will be expected by users.
More intuitive connectivity experience – To help users understand and manage their network connections better, Google is introducing a simpler and more intuitive connectivity experience across the Status Bar, Quick Settings, and Settings. The new Internet Panel helps users switch between their Internet providers and troubleshoot network connectivity issues more easily.
A new UI for Android – Android 12 brings the biggest design change in Android’s history, with changes ranging from the colours to the shapes, light and motion, making Android 12 more expressive, dynamic, and personal, under a single design language called Material You.
Performance – With Android 12, Google says it made significant and deep investments in performance, from foundational system performance and battery life to foreground service changes, media quality and performance, and new tools to optimize apps.
As with previous versions, Android 12 includes behaviour changes to help improve performance, battery life, security, and privacy. In some cases, these changes can affect apps until they are updated to support Android 12, so you might see impacts ranging from minor issues to more significant limitations.
In general, most apps will work as expected, as will most APIs and features, but there will be lots of issues remaining.
This new update is available to the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 4a, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3.