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THE latest version of Android is right around the corner, bringing with it a spruced up design and some handy new features.

Dubbed Android 12, Google unveiled the revamped mobile operating system on May 18 – here’s what you need to know.

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GoogleGoogle has freshened up the design of its Android operating system[/caption]

Android 12 beta – what is it?

Android 12 is the latest version of Google’s operating system that powers billions of smartphones around the world.

If you don’t use an iPhone, chances are your handset runs on Android – whether it’s a Samsung, Pixel, OnePlus or other device.

Google unveiled its revamped operating system (OS) on May 18 during the opening keynote of its I/O 2021 conference.

The company is focussing on privacy and personalisation for this iteration of the software, which it will release worldwide later this year.

For now, Google has built an early “beta” version of the OS that users can test drive as the firm makes tweaks to the final design.

GoogleThe company is focussing on privacy and personalisation for this iteration of the software[/caption]

Android 12 beta features

Google explained some of the features coming with the Android 12 beta in a blog post on May 18.

Google said the beta has been designed around personalisation and privacy.

“Android 12 builds on everything you love about Android, and focuses on building a deeply personal phone that adapts to you,” the firm wrote.

The operating system is “secure by default and private by design, and makes all your devices work better together,” Google added.

Headline additions include new microphone and camera toggles to protect users from snooping apps.

In settings, you can now turn off app access to the sensors for the entire system to stop malicious software from spying on you.

GoogleGoogle has added a host of new security features[/caption]

A new indicator to the top right of your status bar lets you know when your apps are accessing your microphone or camera.

Google has also added a new SOS function that will trigger an emergency alarm after five consecutive presses of the power button.

Aside from all that, Android 12 represents “the biggest design change in Android’s history”, according to Google.

The system pulls accent colours from your wallpaper and applies them across the OS for an attractive, themed design.

You’re also able to completely personalise your phone with a custom colour palette and redesigned widgets.

Bigger rounder bubbles have been added to the notification shade, making it easier to see things at a glance.

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Android 12 beta release date

The Android 12 public beta launched on May 18, 2021 – meaning Google nuts can already get their hands on it.

It’s only available on Google’s Pixel phones (Pixel 3 and up) for now, and will later roll out to other brands.

Those include devices from OnePlus, Lenovo, Asus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Tecno, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.

You can enroll your Pixel phone on Google’s Android beta site.

For other supported devices, head to the Android Developers page.


In other news, a woman claims to have proof that iPhones secretly take photos of their users without permission.

Google is releasing a feature for Android phones that scolds users if they start texting while walking.

And, Tesco has been giving out free iPhones, AirPods and new Samsung phones.

Are you excited for Android 12? Let us know in the comments!

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