Android 12 Developer Preview 3 is set to be the last complete developer build of the latest operating system, uncovering a treasure trove of new features for users.
Weve already begun to see Google making a lot of interface-related changes to Android 12, and Developer Preview 3 allows for a lot of real glimpse changes, thanks to disassembly and tweaks.
However, some may be excited to sideload this third Android 12 taster session and try out some new features. We do not recommend doing so as we are always alerting you. As already mentioned, this doesnt really mean a user-friendly build. Like almost all previews before that, it still has a lot of bugs and random issues that make it difficult to recommend on your main smartphone. The open beta will be released soon next month with added stability and preferably many additional features.
Video Android 12 Developer Preview 3 Hands-on: Top New!
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The Pixel LauncherAt aGlance widget gets a little bold text
Probably the smallest change in the grand plan of things, with the Pixel Launcher youll soon notice the very slightly bold text used in the At a Glance widget on the home screen. This is one of the most notable ones right away, considering how many changes have been made elsewhere.
More rounded UI design selection and menu changes
Android 12 Developer Preview 3 not only tweaks the main widgets on the Pixel Launchers, but also makes many changes to almost every aspect of the UI. If you dont like rounded or foaming corners, you may actually dislike this overhaul.
Most prominent UI elements, including dialog boxes and menus, now give up sharp edges in favor of smooth curves. One of the biggest changes is the volume panel on the pop-up side. Its not necessarily bigger, but the big bubble pop-ups feel very different from what youre used to. The boxed edges appear to be off the menu in 2021.
UI tweaks also extend to the Android 12 Developer Preview 3 Media Player Resume Control and Lock Screen Player. Artist album art is rounded to emulate the hilarious aesthetics used elsewhere. The changes extend to the recent app menu, but the Pixel Launcher has rounded corners when swiping up into the app drawer.
Widgets are also subject to Google overhaul. This is because many widgets, which usually have square or sharp edges, have been softened. Good examples are Gmail and Google Keep, but Im sure there are many others that go against these changes. You can definitely predict that this is a splitting change in Android 12.
Meanwhile, the experience of adding widgets to the home screen has also undergone minor improvements in Android 12 Developer Preview 3 with a brand new menu with a search bar. Below the search bar, youll see a pair of personalized widget recommendations that appear to be based on your most used or recently used applications.
Android 12 Developer Preview 3 sticks to the main home screen UI with some changes to the built-in screenshot editor and image markup tools. To get started, the animation when selecting the Share or Edit button has been significantly improved. Another thing to note here is that you can actually swipe left or right to close the screenshot preview. This is a great update.
You may not notice it at first, but when you tap Share, you will notice a smooth move to the shared sheet. Tap Edit to animate the screenshot from the bottom left to full screen view. These are definitely quality of life changes, especially on devices with 90Hz displays such as the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5, which help people improve the buttery smooth sensation they associate with the Google Pixel series.
Some tweaks have also been made to the actual markup tools. The ability to add stickers and emojis seems to have been removed, at least for now, but with the addition of selectable fonts. When adding text to your image, you can choose between cursive handwriting, bold, italic, typewriter, bubble-like style fonts, and standard Roboto fonts.
Settings menu overhaul and bounce animation
After being discovered in previous builds, Android 12 Developer Preview 3Brings menu overhaul to the device. For those who are outside the loop, the new appearance menu contains larger text and has more whitespace. This is clearly inspired by the One UI one-handed design, but it feels less wasted space on the screen.
In addition to the new design, Google has also added bounce or wobble animations throughout Android 12. this is,Its easy to find when you start scrolling the menu and bounce when you reach the upper or lower bound. It is especially visible in the notification tray, which slides into place after the dropdown.
newAs part of the menu overhaulThe section is also on the receiving side of the notable changes in Android 12 Developer Preview 3. The prominent battery logo and icon are gone. Instead, youll see a linear progress bar on the right with some lifetime information.
Also, instead of the less noticeable circular percentage chart used in previous builds,Also note that the menu also uses this progress bar design. Both changes are not much different, but they help avoid overcrowding of these commonly used menus.
System-wide app splash screen
Not all apps have a splash screen, but obviously Google wants to change that on Android 12. This ensures a unified look and feel for the OS, but can be frustrating for some users. So when you launch an app in Android 12 Developer Preview 3, you can easily see a pop-up of system-generated icons regardless of whether the app has its own splash screen.
Developers can customize their own splash screen icon, which will only be visible the first time the app is launched or restarted after a period of possible hibernation. Even if you open it from the app switcher, the splash screen will not be displayed unless the app has been launched for a while.
The leaked conversation widget option is only available to some users, so I was personally reluctant to add it as a top new feature in Android 12 Developer Preview 3. However, if you performed a clean or fresh install of the latest preview, you should be able to add the home screen widget.
Virtually any conversation widget allows you to add quick access to specific contacts, chats, or group chats in any messaging app on your device. This is a very ongoing task as the message should be displayed regardless of the chat app, but so far we have only been able to get Google Messages to work. Widgets dynamically change color based on wallpaper and placement / resizing.
Android 12 Developer Preview 3: Whats your favorite new feature?
In Android 12 Developer Preview 3, this rather small choice, as well as surface level changes, can be the tip of the iceberg. That said, these are the most prominent user features Ive found after digging into them.
Over the next few days to weeks, we expect more small things to slip through the cracks. Well dig deeper into everything thats been added, including some features that require a