Google has just released the first images that will allow developers (and onlookers) to start testing Android 12, the new version of its mobile platform. As expected, Pixel users will be the ones who will be able to install these images, which will be available for devices from Pixel 3.
It is still too early to know what are the major changes posed by the new version, but some of the new features affect the support of new video and image formats, new features in notifications, and improvements in the privacy section are known. Another curious fact: a preliminary version of Android TV 12 has also been published.
Watch out JPG, AVIF is coming
Among the initial changes will be the support of new image and video formats in a more noticeable way. Thus, a new transcoding layer will allow the HEVC video format to be supported in applications that do not support these videos natively.
In Android 12 there is also support for spatial audio, for the MPEG-H codec, and up to 24 audio channels instead of the eight in current Android versions.
The AV1 image format, also known as AVIF, is another area that Google seems to be working on with this version of its mobile platform. This format seems to be gaining special prominence for Google, which intends to make it the de facto standard format compared to JPG.
Theoretically, AVIF offers better compression and lower losses and defects in the image after compression. For the moment, however, it will not be the native format when taking photos in the camera application of your Pixel.
There is also better support for so-called “rich content insertion”, which will allow cutting, pasting, and dragging multiple types of content, from plain or rich text to markup, images, videos, or audio files.
Notifications, Privacy, and Android TV 12!
There are some clues about the new design and features that are coming to Android 12, and although it is still too early to confirm it, it may be that the leaked images of interface changes do indeed point to the existence of a custom theme called “Silky” with an interesting look.
Google already explained that they were working on improving the notifications interface to make it “more modern, easier to use and more functional.” The gestures will also be somewhat modified, and for example, it is expected that to exit an application that we have in full screen only need a scroll gesture of the screen and not two as now.
Among the internal changes are those aimed at improving privacy: the WebView engine used by third-party applications will make use of a new feature called “SameSite” for cookie management that will theoretically alleviate some of the trackings that websites and applications do during these sessions.
In this announcement, there is also a special section for Android TV 12, the new version of its platform for Smart TVs and devices offering that platform that will make use of the interface already known from the Chromecast with Google TV. At the moment it is not clear what additional changes this platform will bring, but the fact that this preliminary version is already available so soon shows that this is also a key focus of the future of Google’s platform.
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