Android 12 has been mentioned here several times already. As early as September last year, we learned it would allow users to use third-party app stores easily. We also heard about the App Pairs feature may be known as a new split screen function. Earlier this month, some features and enhancements were leaked before launch. It may feature the Material NEXT design and more UI changes including a face-based Auto-Rotate feature. We’ve only been anticipating the Android 12 Developer Preview and it’s here.
Android 12 Features
The Android 12 features and enhancements will improve security and bring more utility and simplicity for IT. The new Android also makes the mobile OS more private and more usable for employees. The Developer Preview is now available. This means OEMs and developers can try the new version.
Several issues may be encountered but that’s normal for preview versions. Several releases will be made and this is the first one. Android 12 simplifies password complexity. No need to come up or remember complex passwords, Android will come up with pre-set complexity levels (high/medium/low) to access the phone.
The Android team wants to help IT people more by improving on a device’s privacy and security. There are force protections already in place but the new complexity levels mentioned will make things better. Android combines the improvements with Google Play Protect and SafetyNet Attestation API.
Setting up a work security challenge is possible with Android 12. This allows IT-approved password for access to important content in the work profile. Note that this is separate from a simplified password.
Android 12 Improvements
The device setup process has been improved. This includes prompting employees if the password given does not meet complexity requirements set by an admin. It’s up to you to increase strength of the password or set a work security challenge.
Android 12 adds certificate management. It’s a tool that “allows enterprises to enable authentication for employee access to remote services”. This can be handled on the Enterprise Mobility Management. With this change, more companies can have secure access for employees wherever they are.
A new enterprise-specific device identifier is also available. This will benefit those employee-owned managed devices as privacy is enhanced.
Android 12 is all about trust and safety. More privacy and security features will be introduced in the coming months. The Android devs just presented a few like Modern SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView, Restricted Netlink MAC, Safer exporting of components, and Safer handling of Intents.
For better user experience tools, Google has included the following: Compatible media transcoding, AVIF image support, Foreground service optimizations, Rich content insertion, Haptic-coupled audio effect, Immersive mode API improvements for gesture nav, Notification UI updates, faster and more responsive notifications, and improved Binder IPC calls. Android 12 will also introduce better app compatibility by making Android updated through Google Play, Optimizing apps tablets/foldables/TVs, and easier testing and debugging of changes.