It’s time for the season again – rumors of what will happen next for the Android platform are rife. We grew up expecting this, what about the leak of photos and code. After all, many people go to these rumors with great fear for two reasons:
Usually nothing but rumors.
The Android update process has been in trouble for years.
Still, there is hope. Thanks to Project Treble and Project Mainline, the Android development process is far from over. In fact, the Android 11 acquisition rate was much faster than any other duplicate of the platform. The speed at which the platform is released has been greatly refined over the years. Why is that important? Because the time between rumors to release is shortened, it means that the rumors may be more, rather than less, they may be real.
No matter how fast the reception of the speaker is fast, the speed of rumors will always be fast. With that being said (and given that Android 12 will come sometime in 2021 – maybe in August or September), let’s take a look at some of the best rumors he’s talking about.
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Let’s start with the rumors about Google Pixel. This is apropos because Pixel devices will not only be the first to receive updates, but Google will release Pixel 6 this year, possibly near the release of Android 12. While this is a point of contention for many Android users who do not have Pixel devices, it should be noted.
At the moment, there is not much in the way of rumors about Pixel. However, there is at least one thing: That the devices will be getting a feature that will allow users to double-click on the back of the device to do certain things (such as snooze alarms, take screenshots, answer calls, etc.), and be the key to unlock Google Assistant. This feature first appeared on Android 11 (with the code name “Columbus”), but failed to make it public.
That’s exactly what the Pixel-related rumors are all about, so far.
Common rumors for Android 12
Now let’s focus on what Android 12 can bring to all supported Android devices.
Third-party app stores
There are some rumors of Android 12 flying online, one with my eyebrows almost raised on my forehead. Those rumors (found in this post on the Android Developers blog) might have been:
… some developers have given us feedback on how we can make user experience installing another app store on their device much better. To answer that question, we’ll be making changes to Android 12 (Android release next year) to make it easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while making sure they don’t compromise the security features that Android has. We are designing all of this now and look forward to sharing more in the future!
In other words, developers are working to make it possible for users to install applications from the non-Google Play Store just to ensure the safety of their devices will not be compromised. This contradicts everything I’ve warned about the safety of Android devices for years. How developers can get rid of this is up to me, unless they plan to work with third parties to ensure the security of the apps available in their stores.
I’m not sure I’m willing to trust that, especially if we’re still living in a time when malicious apps can get into the Google Play Store.
Changes to updates
Some rumors are related to updates. Google plans to make Android Runtime module Mainline for Android 12. This will allow Google to easily and quickly deliver system updates through the Google Play Store – instead of OTA updates. This has two immediate benefits:
Renewal will come soon.
Renewals will be minimal (so it won’t take long).
If Google removes this, it could be a huge improvement in the current Android development process.
Our following rumors may have a positive impact on the battery life of Android devices. This feature will hide applications that are running but not currently in use. This may mean that the only application (that is not the active background service) to drain your battery may be what you use. There are also rumors that this feature will automatically remove the app cache on your device.
This is really interesting. Named for pairs of apps, this feature will allow you to open two apps (most used together) at the same time. If I had to guess, this feature would be the ultimate way to get the Android split-screen – that very few features they use – right. Honestly, I have little hope in this. The only way I can see that Google incorporates such a feature where it works properly would be to open fake apps’ widget mode, “which could open a smaller version of the app. This will lend itself to the iOS Stackable Widgets feature, which allows fully functional widgets to be added to a host of related apps.
For this feature to work, applications will need to be paired easily and fully functional.
A new color calculator app
Android 12 can bring to the table a new coloring app that will allow users to choose the main color and highlighting color, which will be used in all apps and menus. This should not be a big challenge to do the job, but users looking to get as much battery life as possible may find that a light color palette can speed up their battery. Hopefully, the new hibernation feature of the app will address that concern.
New Wi-Fi sharing
Last rumors about sharing Wi-Fi passwords with other users. Android already has a simple system (which uses QR codes to share wireless network settings), but that requires users to be close to you to be able to scan codes, instead of saying or writing a wireless password to them. According to the rumor mill, this feature will allow you to share Wi-Fi passwords, even if the user is not nearby. IOS already has such a feature that uses Bluetooth to share the required information. If Android goes the same way, I suggest you take care where you share this information, as the Bluetooth pack transmission is easy to smell. You will not want a third party to collect your Wi-Fi password and use it for you.
Well, these are just rumors. If you think the first beta for Android 12 is yet to be released, I will not rely on any of these features that make it a final release. That doesn’t mean it won’t – it just means that rumor control will have something to say in the end.