What you need to know
- Google today released the last Android 12 Developer Preview.
- The company highlighted improved haptics, new splash screens, and enhanced app linking support.
- Google's also added broader support for high-res camera sensors.
Android 12 is around the corner, and this last developer preview is the last hurdle Google's going to leap before the consumer beta. Available to all Pixels from the Pixel 3 onwards, this new update doesn't have much in the way of user-facing features, but it does provide new tools for developers to build those user-facing experiences down the line.
Google emphasizes haptics for instance, but you won't be seeing any changes to haptics work on your phone immediately. Instead, it's a change mostly aimed at gaming, Android 12 will allow developers to "emphasize key events and actions in their UI", and developers will be able to build more console-like experiences when it comes to making use of your phone's haptics to build immersive experiences. Google says the Pixel 4 can take full advantage of this immediately. You'll also benefit a lot from this if you're using one of those gaming optimized phones of course, but any phone with Android 12 should see an improvement. Aside from gaming, Google foresees productivity applications of this.
Google is also working in making the app launch experience nicer. It's putting in faster animations, adding in splash screens, and throwing in tools for developers to improve Android's inter-app linking support so you can get from one app to the other faster.
Google is also focusing on support for different camera layouts. The company notes that Android smartphones now come with many different kinds of cameras. We've got everything from dual-lens to penta lens, from 2MP cameras all the way to 108MP ones, and so on. Google is now including native support for all these new sensors such that third-party apps can take advantage of them if coded for it. Again, it's not something you'll see the benefits of on a Pixel 4 or Pixel 5 immediately, but it's interesting to consider if Google is planning on upgrading its camera hardware to a Quad bayer one and finally shipping a competitive camera, hardware-wise, with the Pixel 6.
There's a lot more in this release, and you can check out Google's blog post here for the exact details. The most important thing is that this is the final Android 12 Developer Build. We'll learn a lot more about Android 12 next month at Google I/O, and then we'll finally get a taste of all the consumer-focused features.