What you need to know
- Google is rolling out the second Android 12 beta update with new privacy features.
- The beta brings Android 12's Privacy Dashboard, app indicators, and toggles to block or enable system access to certain apps.
- A new Internet Panel is being introduced in the quick settings menu for easy access to connectivity options.
The first Android 12 beta has been available for less than a month, but Google is already releasing the second beta. This build is focused on privacy and introduces features that give users more control over their phones and apps.
The biggest addition coming to Android 12 Beta 2 is the new Privacy Dashboard introduced during Google I/O 2021. The new setting allows users to check which apps gaining access to certain smartphone data, when the data is accessed, and for how long. This includes location data, the camera, microphone, and more.
Additionally, Google is bringing app indicators to Android 12, which gives users a visual cue to let them know when apps are accessing the camera or mic. This will appear in the form of a small icon at the top right of the screen, and from there, users can toggle app permissions in the Quick Settings menu.
The new update also brings new system-wide toggles for the camera and mic, which can be found in Quick Settings. This allows users to disable these sensors so that any app trying to use them will receive blank feeds. Users will also be notified to enable the sensors whenever an app attempts to access them.
Another feature reaching the Quick Settings menu is the new Internet Panel, which essentially condenses the Wi-Fi and Mobile data panel into one, making it easier to toggle the internet connection or switch providers. This will be available across the Quick Settings menu, status bar, and device settings.
Lastly, Google will start warning users when apps access the device clipboard. This will appear in the form of a toast notification at the bottom of the display and should give users more peace of mind. The warning won't appear if items were copied within the same app being used, for example, to minimize notifications. This should encourage developers only to let their apps read from the clipboard only when necessary.
This new beta is rolling out today on devices like the Google Pixel 5 and some of the best Android phones. If you're curious about the upcoming Android release and want to try it out, we have a guide to show you how to install the Android 12 Beta on your phone right now, which also includes a list of eligible devices.
Devices on Android 12 beta 1 should receive beta 2 via an OTA update.
Get Android 12 first
The Google Pixel 5 is one of the best value flagship smartphones. It has exceptional cameras, fast updates and is usually the first to gain the latest features arriving on Android. If you're an early adopter, this phone will be the best choice to try Android 12 before most people.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
Looks like the capabilities of BlackBerry's DTEK app that has been in service and on BlackBerry Android phones since 2016 and Android 6.
They've also got better colours for system menus (I finally have black with yellow panels as per my lock screen!), and the weird spray of pixels is gone from the touch effects. I was surprised that was ever intentional; when I first saw it, I assumed it was a placeholder for a visual effect where the pixels would be invisible data points for something more sophisticated so it was unexpected to hear Google say that was simply how it was designed. Some better animations on powering into and out of lock. Noticeably more efficient on 4a now too.
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