Android 12 Developer Preview 2 is here and it's all about small changes

Android 12 Silky Home
Android 12 Silky Home (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has released the second Android 12 developer preview today.
  • This update focuses on refining some multi-tasking tools, including lockscreen notifications and picture-in-picture mode.
  • Another change in this build will let developers build apps that take full advantage of the screen real estate in phones which have rounded corners.

Google is rolling out the second developer preview of Android 12 today. As expected, there aren't many consumer-facing features here, it's more tweaks to the underlying core experience and APIs changes for developers. However, some of the tweaks here do add a bit of veracity to earlier reports about what to be being expected in Android 12, so let's go over them briefly.

Here's what's being highlighted:

  • Extended security for lockscreen notifications: Enabling developers to configure notifications on the lockscreen to always require user authentication.
  • Improvements to Picture in Picture mode: Developers can now use Android 12 to automatically transition their app to picture in picture mode. Android 12 also brings capabilities for developers to seamlessly resize picture in picture elements.
  • APIs for managing connected devices: To make it easier for developers to keep their apps running on companion devices (like smartwatches or fitness trackers), this developer preview introduces APIs that automatically wake relevant apps up when connected devices are nearby.

Google will also make it easier for developers to detect which phones have rounded corners so that their apps display properly. it may seem like a small change, but you can find a lot of variety among the best Android phones. That variety is a core strength of the platform and changes which build upon that are always welcome.

As Android 12 is still a developer preview, you should be wary of installing it on your main phone. While Android Central's Hayato Huseman had a decent time on his Google Pixel 5, it's advisable to wait a bit longer till May when the first betas drop. By then we expect Google to deliver a clear summary of Android 12's more consumer-focused ambitions prior to a launch in September.

Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast?

Android Central

Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.

  • Subscribe in Pocket Casts: Audio
  • Subscribe in Spotify: Audio
  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio
Michael Allison