Google Previews Android 12 With Deeper Customization and iOS 14-Inspired Privacy Protections

During its Google I/O developers conference today, Google previewed Android 12, the next version of Android that will ship to millions of Android devices around the world later this year.

Android 12 vs iOS 14 Feature
Google is mainly targeting customization as the theme for this year's new release and a new design language that it's calling "Material You." Google says this new design language brings a "humanistic approach to design," an approach that "celebrates the tension between design sensibility and personal preference, and does not shy away from emotion."

Google is offering users nearly unlimited customizability for system shapes, colors, and overall feel. Google aims to offer users customization through color extraction, which automatically detects colors that are most dominant in a user's wallpaper and then applies them throughout the system, such as on the lockscreen, widgets, and more.

android 12 wallpaper color
With Android 12, Google is also introducing more fluid systemwide animations that are aimed at making devices feel "alive with every tap, swipe, and scroll." Google is ensuring, however, that these systemwide animations have minimal impact on battery life and system performance.

Your Android devices are now faster and more responsive with better power efficiency so you can use your device for longer without a charge. This was achieved by some under-the-hood improvements including reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.

Beyond design changes, Google introduced new privacy features that take some inspiration from iOS 14, released this past September. One new feature is a microphone and camera indicator, which provides a dot in the top-right hand corner of a device whenever an app is accessing the camera or microphone. Google is also making it easier to disable a specific app's access to the microphone and camera through new toggles in Quick Settings.
android 12 camera mic
Another privacy-centric feature coming with Android 12 is the ability for users to give apps access to either their precise or approximate location. Much like iOS, whenever an app requests access to a user's location, an option to provide "Precise" and "Approximate" locations are given.
android 12 location settings
Android 12 also includes under-the-hood privacy changes enabled by new AI technologies that help minimize user data collection.

Beyond these new privacy features in Android 12, we’re also building privacy protections directly into the OS. There are more opportunities than ever to use AI to create helpful new features, but these features need to be paired with powerful privacy. That’s why in this release we’re introducing Android Private Compute Core. It allows us to introduce new technologies that are private by design, allowing us to keep your personal information safe, private and local to your phone.

Beyond adopting some iOS 14 privacy features, Google is also taking inspiration in some other areas. Google introduced "Google Digital Car Key," which, much like Apple's Digital Car Key feature available on iOS 13 and ‌iOS 14‌, lets car owners use NFC on their supported Android device to unlock compatible vehicles.

As reported by 9to5Google, Google is also adding support for Apple's Beats headphones to its "Google Fast Pair" process, which aims to make it easy to pair Bluetooth headphones and accessories by simply bringing them near your device. The new feature takes heavy inspiration from Apple users' seamless experience when pairing AirPods, HomePod, and other accessories to their iPhone or iPad.

Android 12 will be under beta testing throughout the summer starting today, and Google says it will be available for a wide range of Android devices later this year.

Top Rated Comments

kenni417 Avatar
15 months ago
iOS needs a redesign. long overdue.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dba415 Avatar
15 months ago

Still a "me-too" OS. How anyone thinks Android is "better" than iOS I'll never understand.
Acting like iOS hasn't copied Android with Notification Center, widgets, and folder support...
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edgonzalez32 Avatar
15 months ago

Still a "me-too" OS. How anyone thinks Android is "better" than iOS I'll never understand.
Because you are getting your needs served by iOS. And it’s somewhat subjective. You don’t need to understand it. Like what you like and let other people like what they like. It’s super easy.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dabi Avatar
15 months ago
Honestly I think it looks great. It's cool how the colors will be customisable now, they're really embracing one of the bigger strengths of Android over iOS. We'll see if it's really as smooth as they're promising though, Android always gets a bit laggy when too much is going on. Also in the past their Material design concept videos didn't match the final product, so hopefully it won't be the case this time.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edgonzalez32 Avatar
15 months ago

My notifications work just fine ?‍♂️
I didn’t say they didn’t work. But it’s ignorant to say iOS handles it better when on android you can get a really good workflow going in just the notifications area.

do yourself a favor and try for one second to remove yourself from the hate train and take an objective look at the competition.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LFC2020 Avatar
15 months ago

iOS needs a redesign. long overdue.
Wouldn’t say redesign, a bit more customization and a theme store would be nice.

FFS let us get rid of the home bar and change the camera and flashlight shortcuts on Home Screen.

Not asking for to much ?‍♂️
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

google iphone home screen

Google Basically Wants Your iPhone 13 Home Screen to Look Like Android

Tuesday September 28, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
In a new blog post titled "Bring the best of Google to your iPhone," Google is on an endeavor to convince new iPhone 13 users to transform their ‌device’s home screen to look like Android. The blog post, written by Google's director for the iOS platform, features screenshots of an iPhone 13 home screen filled with Google apps and widgets. The post implies that customers should possibly...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Apple CEO: 'Buy an Android Phone' If You Want to Avoid the App Store

Wednesday December 8, 2021 2:00 am PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently explained the circumstances in which users should purchase an Android phone instead of an iPhone, encouraging users who want to download apps from anywhere on the internet instead of the App Store to "buy an Android phone." Speaking at The New York Times "DealBook" summit last month, Cook explained that sideloading, the practice of downloading and installing...
Google apps isolated

Google Apps for iOS to Switch to UIKit After Decade of Material Design

Monday October 11, 2021 7:20 am PDT by
Google is winding down its Material Design custom UI for iOS apps to switch to pure UIKit, according to Google's design chief for Apple platforms Jeff Verkoeyen. Google's suite of apps for iOS and iPadOS, including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Drive, and YouTube, have used custom user interfaces that mirror the experience on Android for almost a decade. The purpose of these...
Facebook Feature

Facebook's New 'Privacy Center' Will Help Educate Users on Data Collection and Privacy Options

Friday January 7, 2022 8:41 am PST by
Facebook today announced a new "Privacy Center" section on its website on the desktop. This new area will offer users a "new place to learn more about our approach to privacy across our apps and technologies" and "provides helpful information about five common privacy topics," Meta announced today in a press release. The new Privacy Center, rolling out to a small pool of Facebook users in...
applegoogle

Google Basically Pays Apple to Stay Out of the Search Engine Business, Class Action Lawsuit Alleges

Wednesday January 5, 2022 3:02 am PST by
Apple has an agreement with Google that it won't develop its own internet search engine so long as Google pays it to remain the default option in Safari, a new class action alleges. Filed in a California court earlier this week against Apple, Google, and their respective CEOs, the lawsuit alleges the two companies have a non-compete agreement in the internet search business that violates US...
google one app

Google One Disappears From App Store a Day After VPN Launch [Update: Google One is Back in the App Store]

Wednesday February 2, 2022 12:01 pm PST by
The Google One app for iPhone and iPad appears to have mysteriously disappeared from the App Store this morning, and it is no longer available for download. As noted on Reddit, attempting to download the Google One app in the United States and Canada pops up an error message that says "App Not Available." It is not clear why the app has been removed from the App Store at this time, and...
bmw car key photo

iPhone's Car Key Feature Now Supports Select 2022 Genesis and Kia Vehicles [Updated]

Wednesday March 23, 2022 9:03 am PDT by
In 2020, Apple introduced a digital car key feature that allows users to unlock and start a compatible vehicle by bringing an iPhone or Apple Watch near the driver-side door. The feature has been limited to select BMW models since launching. According to Apple, the feature has now expanded to select 2022 vehicle models from Genesis and Kia, which are both divisions of Korean automaker...
General Apps Messages

Google Exec Pushing RCS Adoption Says He's 'Not Asking Apple to Make iMessage Available on Android'

Monday January 10, 2022 3:24 pm PST by
Google for the last several years has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS, which is designed to replace the current SMS standard. RCS offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file size, improved encryption, and more. For the last few months, Google's senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer,...

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...