January 27, 2022

Hidden Android 12 Options You Most likely Did not Know About

Android 12 was launched on October 4, 2021, however regardless that it’s been part of a choose few Android customers’ telephones for some time now, there are nonetheless fairly a couple of thrilling new options that you simply’re in all probability unaware of! On this latest launch, there’s been an elevated deal with gaming, media, adaptive aesthetics, and safety (in addition to a couple of different surprises). Sadly, except you’re a die-hard Android fan—leaping into blogs, or trawling via each menu upon a brand new launch—you may not have observed these neat options as they’re not intuitively accessible, or not broadly supported by third occasion apps (but), or have turn out to be the background default.

Google / Android

We’ll be working down what probably the most attention-grabbing options are, and entry them. There’s a little bit one thing for everybody to be enthusiastic about on this latest replace, whether or not you’re enthusiastic about video games, safety, or simply making your general smartphone expertise extra handy and cozy.

Sport Mode Dashboard

Game Dashboard Mode


Considered one of Android 12’s most spectacular hidden options is the Sport Mode dashboard. To activate the sport dashboard, you’ll must burrow deep into the settings, via an improbably circuitous route. First, open your Settings, then faucet the Notifications possibility. Within the new display screen, scroll down a bit to the Normal part the place you’ll must faucet Do Not Disturb. This takes you to a different display screen the place you’ll faucet Schedules. On the Schedules display screen, you need to see Gaming and a little bit gear icon to the correct of it. Faucet the gear.  Lastly, flip the swap to the on place.

Should you’re taking part in a sport that helps this neat characteristic, you’ll see a darkish, translucent arrow on the correct facet of your display screen. Faucet that to show a small controller icon which you then faucet to carry up the dashboard (finally!). Right here you’ll be introduced with quite a lot of attention-grabbing choices, although not all of them shall be supported by each sport. You may elect to stream your gameplay dwell by way of YouTube, interact optimization (aka drain your battery), activate a body charge counter, activate a do-not-disturb swap, and add a recording and/or screenshot shortcut to your sport display screen. You’ll additionally see an choice to view your profile the place you’ll be able to examine your leaderboard place and achievements.

Audio-coupled haptic impact

Touchscreen with finger touching screen


Whereas haptic suggestions is nothing new to smartphones, Android 12 is attempting to leap on the bandwagon of constructing haptic suggestions a little bit extra attention-grabbing and helpful for the common person. Should you don’t recall what “haptic suggestions” is, it’s simply tiny vibrations that may assist give digital interfaces a extra tactile really feel. For instance, if you sort on the display screen keyboard, in case you have haptic suggestions enabled, you’ll really feel a little bit vibration if you press a letter, which is meant to provide the sensation of typing on a bodily keyboard.

Android 12 is taking this a step ahead by integrating the haptic performance of our telephones with sound. Constructed proper into every system shall be distinctive haptic patterns for every of the default put in ringtones. On this manner, you could possibly know who’s calling you even when your ringer is off. Bzz-bzz-bzzzzz-bzz… oh that have to be Cathy!

Much more thrilling is that Google has opened this performance as much as builders via its HapticGenerator API. Devs can plug into this to auto-magically generate haptic patterns for his or her music and sound results. Video video games, films, and music will turn out to be ever extra immersive as they feed real-time sensations proper into your arms as you interact along with your media.

One-Handed Mode

One handed mode

Google / Android

Should you’re a present or former iPhone person (since 2014, at the very least), it will look like a characteristic that’s a bit late to the scene, particularly contemplating how quite simple it appears. And, for those who’re a person of an Android cellphone with a bigger display screen, chances are you’ll really feel very fortunate to have this one-handed mode lastly added to the listing of accessible options.

One-handed mode offers you the power to briefly, and with only a faucet or swipe, carry the highest half of the display screen all the way down to the decrease half, for simpler navigation. That’s it.

To allow this/ you’ll must go to your settings menu. Then, swipe all the way in which to close the underside and faucet System. Then we hit gestures, adopted by One-handed mode. You’ll find yourself on a display screen with a couple of choices introduced to you. You may both decide to “Pull display screen into attain” or activate the “One-handed mode shortcut.”

Personally, I struggled with the pull possibility. It is advisable to get your finger in simply the correct place to make it work with out inflicting the incorrect factor to occur. I like to recommend the shortcut. This places a pleasant little floating button down on the decrease proper hand facet of the display screen. Give it a faucet and the highest half of the display screen will slide down.

Materials You

Materials You is the darling youngster of Android 12. You may inform, from the promotional materials, that they’re hella pleased with it. And, to be honest, it’s fairly nifty. With Materials You, you’ll have the ability to personalize the aesthetic of your cellphone’s interface, simply by adjusting a couple of settings, or switching out your wallpaper—the remainder works routinely. 

The central characteristic of Materials You is the way in which it devises a system-wide coloration scheme drawn out of your wallpaper, which it might probably sync throughout a number of gadgets to create a homogenized, but distinctive visible expertise. Meaning your sensible watch, TV, or no matter else that’s working Android 12 underneath the identical person will conform to the identical aesthetics.

What does this imply in easy phrases, although? Primarily, for those who use a wallpaper with primarily blue hues, your icons, and app backgrounds, shall be shaded in blue hues that echo the character of your wallpaper.

Utilizing Materials You’ll lead to a customized aesthetic expertise in your cellphone. The central characteristic of Materials You is the way in which it devises a system-wide coloration scheme drawn out of your wallpaper, which it might probably sync throughout a number of gadgets to create a homogenized, but distinctive visible expertise. 

To some extent it’s automated, however if you wish to dial it in, head to your Settings after which scroll to “Wallpaper & fashion” to regulate as you please.

Easter Eggs Galore!


Each new Android OS launch comes with its personal particular Easter egg(s). This one is not any totally different, apart from the truth that it comes with three Easter eggs!

The primary one is considerably acquainted to anybody who’s discovered earlier Android surprises. You go to Settings, then About Cellphone, after which discover “Android Model” and faucet it repeatedly. Previously there have been ghosts and Oreos. This time there’s a clock.

Should you drag the arms on the clock in order that they learn 12, you’ll get to see a giant quantity 12 surrounded by bubbles that make it appear like you’re taking a coloration blindness check.

When you’ve finished this, you’ll have unlocked the Easter egg widget. Go to your widgets settings, and on the high you’ll discover the “Android S Easter Egg.” This can be a genuinely beguiling widget based mostly off of your Materials You settings, that can help you entry the whole coloration palette that’s being run in your system, based mostly off of your wallpaper.

Lastly, for those who go to this URL in your system and click on the massive ‘ol hyperlink, you’ll have the ability to place an enormous quantity 12 statue in augmented actuality area. And, for those who have a look at the again facet of the statue, you’ll see an inventory of ice cream flavors, the initials of which spell Materials You.

24 Hour Notification Historical past

24 Hour History


Personally, I’m a fan of this subsequent tucked away characteristic of the Android 12 working system. As somebody who considerably rashly clears my notification display screen when it fills up an excessive amount of, I’ve discovered it supremely useful to have a catchall basket of types for all of my notifications from the final 24 hours. It’s an exceptionally easy characteristic, however one which’s tremendous helpful, and but not straightforward sufficient to search out.

If you wish to flip this on, first swipe down in your display screen to point out your notifications. Should you see a Historical past button on the backside, then congratulations, you have already got this characteristic turned on. If not, and also you see a button titled Handle as a substitute, go forward and faucet that. Alternatively, you’ll be able to go to your setting and faucet Notifications. If you get there, one of many first choices shall be “Notification historical past.” Enter that display screen and flip the swap. Voila, your notifications will now have a tidy place to reside for twenty-four hours, even after you’ve swiped them away.

This characteristic is lacking one factor, although, that I hope they reconcile sooner or later: a search bar. In 24 hours I obtain a variety of notifications. With the ability to slim it down, even by the app alone, could be an enormous boon. However, for now, at the very least you’ll be able to hunt down what you may need misplaced earlier than.

2×2 App Button Structure

Big Android icons


You’ve at all times been capable of regulate the dimensions of your icons, however Android has made the choices much more accessibility-minded by introducing the jumbo-sized 2×2 grid association to your app icons.

This characteristic received’t be for everybody, however for these with poor imaginative and prescient, or individuals who simply don’t have a lot on their cellphone, this may occasionally assist significantly.

To show this on, discover an empty area on your property display screen and press down for about one full second. Just a little menu will spring up, and also you’ll want to pick out “Wallpaper & fashion.” Swipe all the way in which to the underside the place you’ll see the “App grid” part. Faucet there and also you’ll be dropped at a brand new display screen the place you’ll be able to check out all of the totally different grid sizes. They vary from 5×5 all the way in which to 2×2. So, with the 5×5 possibility you’ll have a complete of 25 icons out there to you, and with the two×2 you’ll have simply 4 (plus the house row, which doesn’t change throughout screens). Moreover, it’s value mentioning that this interprets throughout to app folders, which can even regulate if you open them up.

Should you faucet any of those, you’ll get a pleasant preview of what your display screen would appear like for those who hit the Apply button with out truly effecting any adjustments. Should you do need to change your grid dimension, simply hit Apply on the backside of the display screen and every thing will regulate routinely.

New Media Encoding Assist

Woman watching movie on phone


Right here’s one for the true techies on the market! Android 12 now helps AVIF photos, HEVC video transcoding, and MPEG-H 3D Audio. Okay, for the non-techies on the market, that’s a variety of capital letters, and never a variety of context. Let me clarify why all Android customers will profit from this spectacular characteristic.

AVIF is a reasonably new picture file format (like jpeg, png, or gif) that gives higher high quality photos at even higher compression charges. Meaning you’ll be able to have an image that has a smaller arduous drive footprint than a JPEG, whereas additionally wanting higher.

HEVC is similar thought as AVIF, apart from video. Plenty of gadgets and apps presently use HEVC, however many don’t. For people who don’t, Android 12 will provide on-the-fly video transcoding to make HEVC video information usable throughout the entire working system.

It will gradual customers down, although. The Android developer API web page says that, “a one minute HEVC video file takes roughly 20 seconds to transcode into AVC on a Pixel 3 cellphone.” That mentioned, for common video usability, which may be a sacrifice value making.

What about MPEG-H 3D Audio? Primarily, which means your cellphone will now help not simply encompass sound, however what some are calling “three dimensional sound.” We’re speaking as much as 64 audio system throughout 128 core channels, tailored to quite a lot of bodily preparations. Or, heck, it might probably even simulate auditory 3D area in headphones, for people who help it. Huge prospects.

Improved Privateness Settings

Security Lock smartphone

Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Unobtrusive safety appears to be one of many bigger objectives of Android 12. That’s to say, they’re pushing new safety features that, in impact, provide you with management of how uncovered you need to be. We are able to see this clearly in three model new options.

The primary one is the choice to be sure that solely apps that require your precise location can entry it. That implies that apps which require some location info, however not exact location information, will be restricted to solely having your approximate location out there.

Subsequent up, Android is attempting to maintain you abreast of how your clipboard snippets are getting used. If an app accesses your clipboard, a little bit notification will pop up on the backside of the display screen and fill you in.

The third, and ultimate, new safety characteristic I’d prefer to cowl is the microphone and digicam kill switches. You may allow these kill switches which make it in order that, when enabled, no app, no matter prior permissions granted, can entry the microphone and/or digicam whereas the swap is turned on. How actually dependable that is, I don’t know, nevertheless it’s a step up in private safety from the earlier state of issues.

Moreover, if an app is accessing both your mic or cam, a inexperienced icon will glow within the higher proper hand a part of your display screen. Assuming that is correct, you’ll at all times have the ability to know if you’re being listened to, or watched.

Scrollable Screenshots

Scrolling on phone

Zyabich / Shutterstock

Previously, you’d must obtain a 3rd occasion app to make one thing like this work. Fortunately, now, scrollable screenshots are constructed into the Android 12 OS.

Should you’re not conversant in what a scrollable screenshot is, think about you need to seize a whole webpage, or a big part of a dialog, in a single picture. Normally, you’d should fill your display screen with what you needed, seize, scroll down, seize, and so forth and so forth. That, or use an out of doors utility that will enable you to take screenshots bigger than your display screen. Now, this performance is a local characteristic of Android.

This one’s not fairly as hidden as the remainder, nevertheless it nonetheless wants a little bit explaining. After you’re taking a screenshot as normal, a sequence of icons will line up alongside the underside of your display screen. The rightmost icon will say “Seize extra.” Faucet that. It will then help you seize roughly 3 times the size of your display screen (or any quantity in between). It doesn’t appear to permit greater than that, however that is nonetheless a severe enchancment over the earlier default.

Google Android 12 demo Fast Faucet

Quick Tap with Android 12


Ah, the Fast Faucet—bestowed upon the chosen few. Not solely do you want Android 12 for this nifty operate, however you want to have a cellphone that helps it. Sadly, my Pixel 4a doesn’t, so I can solely go off the expertise of others. In case you have a Pixel 5 or a Pixel 4a 5G, you’re in luck for this one.

To show this characteristic on, go to settings, then System, then Gestures, after which Fast Faucet. Toggle the swap on. As soon as activated, tapping the again of the cellphone twice will, by default, take a screenshot. The neat factor, nevertheless, is which you could customise this to do an almost countless number of different issues. You may pull up the digital assistant, pause (or, conversely, play) your media, pull up the latest app listing, present your notifications, or—get this—open any app of your selecting. You may also power it to require you to faucet extra forcefully to activate—helpful for the extra fidgety amongst us.

New Widgets

Android 12 widgets


p dir=”ltr”>Android 12 introduces a couple of new widgets and widget options. A few of this we’ve lined earlier, such because the Easter egg widget and the Materials You coloration customization. However there’s much more to this, and right here I’d prefer to run via a bunch of probably the most attention-grabbing issues you’ll be able to drop in your display screen.

There’s a Google Maps widget that can help you seek for no matter you need with only a faucet. There’s a todo listing widget that integrates with Google Hold that retains all of your duties entrance and middle. There’s the choice to place pictures in your display screen, as in case your cellphone have been a form of digital mantlepiece.

The Google Drive widget simplifies and quickens the method of accessing and importing information. The YouTube Music widget offers you home-screen management of your music. There’s a easy digi-device that can show your information utilization. There’s an analog clock, which lets you select from quite a lot of totally different types.

And, lastly (at the very least for this listing), there’s the conversations widget. This lets you make any textual content dialog a definite icon. You’ll get updates on the icon, together with notifications of latest messages, and what number of unread there are. If you faucet the convo, you’ll be introduced on to it, no needing to undergo the app interface first. I’ll in all probability get probably the most use out of this one, myself.

Overhauled Capacity to Share with Different close by telephones

Sharing with phone


Sharing has been up to date for the Android 12. Whether or not which means sharing a wifi connection, or sharing some particular hyperlink or media out of your cellphone, every thing has been made (theoretically) simpler.

Now, you need to use Close by Share to ship somebody the wifi credentials essential to share with you. Meaning you’ll solely have to be inside Bluetooth vary (which is roughly 30 toes, or 10 meters), so as to make the most of this performance.

Close by Share can even present up everytime you need to share something in your cellphone that permits it. As a substitute of going by way of a messaging or social media app, you need to use Close by Share’s Bluetooth performance to zip issues on to the system of your alternative.

That mentioned, “zip” is probably an exaggeration. Whereas I can think about some utility for this characteristic, it concerned far too many faucets for my style. Simpler but to only shoot your share over to somebody’s textual content inbox.

Face-Detection Rotation

Face lit by phone

kittirat roekburi/Shutterstock

This one is pure comfort, however what comfort it’s! Few issues are extra annoying than attempting to make the most of the rotate characteristic of a cellphone when mendacity down. Android 12 affords the choice to routinely establish the orientation of your face relative to the cellphone and regulate its rotation intelligently. This manner it can naturally swap between panorama and portrait mode in a manner that makes probably the most sense for what you’re viewing, even if you’re laying in your facet.

You do should allow this one by going to your Settings first. Scroll about midway all the way down to the Show possibility, faucet that, then choose the Auto-rotate display screen possibility. You’ll should allow auto-rotate first, after which you’ll be able to activate Allow Face Detection.

This generally is a little finicky relying on the standard of the lighting within the room (or bouncing off your face from the display screen), however when it really works, it may be fairly the frustration saver.

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