|A version of the Android operating system|
|October 4, 2021|
|Latest release||12.0.0_r15 (SD1A.210817.037.A1) / November 16, 2021|
|Kernel type||Monolithic Kernel (Linux Kernel)|
|Preceded by||Android 11|
Android 12 is the twelfth major release and 19th version of Android, the mobile operating system developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google. The first beta was released on May 18, 2021. Android 12 was released publicly on October 4, 2021, through Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and was released to supported Google Pixel devices on October 19, 2021.
Android 12 was announced in an Android blog posted on February 18, 2021. A developer preview was released immediately, with two additional ones planned the following two months. After that, four monthly beta releases were planned, beginning in May, the last one of them reaching platform stability in August, with general availability coming shortly after that.
The second developer preview was released on March 17, 2021, followed by a third preview on April 21, 2021. The first beta build was then released on May 18, 2021. It was followed by beta 2 on June 9, 2021, which got a bugfix update to 2.1 on June 23. Then beta 3 was released on July 14, 2021, getting a bugfix update to beta 3.1 on July 26. Beta 4 was released on August 11, 2021. A fifth beta, not planned in the original roadmap, was released on September 8, 2021. Android 12 stable got released on the Android Open Source Project on October 4, getting its public over-the-air rollout on October 19, coinciding with the launch event for the Pixel 6.
In October 2021, Google announced Android 12L, an interim release of Android 12 including improvements specific for foldable phones, tablets, desktop-sized screens and Chromebooks, and modifications to the user interface to tailor it to larger screens. It is planned to launch in early 2022. A developer preview of 12L was released in October, with three monthly Beta releases planned set starting on December, and the final release scheduled for March.
Android 12 introduces a major refresh to the operating system's Material Design language branded as "Material You", which features larger buttons, an increased amount of animation, and a new style for home screen widgets. A feature, internally codenamed "monet", allows the operating system to automatically generate a color theme for system menus and supported apps using the colors of the user's wallpaper. The smart home and Wallet areas added to the power menu on Android 11 have been relocated to the notification shade, while Google Assistant is now activated by holding the power button.
Performance improvements have been made to system services such as the WindowManager, PackageManager, system server, and interrupts. It also adds accessibility improvements for those who are visually impaired. The Android Runtime has been added to Project Mainline, allowing it to be serviced via Play Store.
Android 12 adds support for spatial audio, and MPEG-H 3D Audio, and will support transcoding of HEVC video for backwards compatibility with apps which do not support it. A "rich content insertion" API eases the ability to transfer formatted text and media between apps, such as via the clipboard. Third party app stores now have the ability to update apps without constantly asking the user for permission.
Apps requesting location data can now be restricted to having access only to "approximate" location data rather than "precise". Controls to prevent apps from using the camera and microphone system-wide have been added to the quick settings toggles. An indicator will also be displayed on-screen if they are active.