Google has just released the first developer preview for Android 12.
As usual, this is a developer preview, and meant only for developers. And not to be used on your main device. That is because it is still full of bugs and broken features. Basically, it’s pretty rough, so if you have a second phone, then you can put the preview on your Pixel and play around with it, but we wouldn’t recommend putting it on your main phone.
What’s new with Android 12?
With the first developer preview being geared towards developers, the majority of the features being announced (right now) are developer features. We’ll likely see more of the user-facing features with the first beta, around May-June. Typically released around the time of Google I/O.
Having said that, Google is adding compatible media transcoding and higher quality images support. Basically, this enables developers to automatically transcode media into higher quality formats. Android 12 also introduces support for the AV1 image format, a higher quality image file with similar file sizes to older formats.
Android 12 is going to give developers the tools that they need to deliver notifications faster and make them more responsive for their users.
Finally, Google is also making it easier to test compatibility and platform stability. Individual changes will now be toggleable. This means that specific compatibility issues can be solved quicker.
Google is also letting developers know today, that the milestone release of Android 12 will come in August. With the final stable release of Android 12 coming a few weeks after that. However, they have not yet said how many previews and betas we will be getting. But in the past we have gotten one per month. So expect the same this year.
If you’re brave, you can download the Android 12 factory images for the Pixel 3 and later from the Android Developers website here.