Android’s redesign over the years, while helpful, hasn’t been too striking. Ever since the implementation of Material Design, Google’s mobile OS has largely looked the same. That changes with Android 12 Beta.
With Android 12, Google has revamped everything from the overall experience, colors, shapes, lights, and motion.
Google’s approach to Android 12 is to make sure it’s designed for you, for us, the users. In that vein, they’re calling this new design language Material You. This means a deeper integration of hardware and software.
In a separate media session, a Google representative pointed out that when Material Design first came out, Google wasn’t making their own hardware yet. That has since changed, and Material You is their answer to a more harmonious hardware and software.
Custom Color Palette
A Pixel-only feature, Custom Color Palette lets users completely personalize Android 12 with their color of choice along with redesigned widgets.
Based on your wallpaper, it will use color extraction to identify which colors are dominant, which are complimentary and will then apply these colors throughout the entire OS. That’s everything from the widgets, notification shade, lock screen, and more.
Redesigned System Spaces
This is perhaps one of the most different-looking aspects of Android 12 Beta. Instead of tiny icons, the Quick Settings area now provides more information on each setting. This makes it easier for the user to control pretty much the primary settings of the entire OS by just swiping and tapping.
The Google Pay and Home controls have also been added to Quick Settings for faster access and easier customization.
These also sit nicely with your notifications that also look extra clean and is very much in line with the look of the Quick Settings.
Private and Secure
While we’re in Quick Settings, a new addition gives you access to the Privacy Dashboard. Here you can toggle permissions like mic and camera usage per app. Google says this is almost akin to physically covering the cameras on your phone.
The Privacy Dashboard also gives you granular control as to what data is being accessed and tracked. If you don’t want an app track a certain thing, you can easily revoke the permission from this dashboard.
Location tracking is also even deeper now as you get to choose whether you share your precise location or just your general one. Or perhaps not at all. The idea is that you have full control.
Google is also introducing Android Private Compute Core to Android 12. They say it helps them show features that are private by design while keeping the users’ personal information safe, private, and local to the phone.
Fluid Motions and Animations
Naturally, with any OS update, comes the promises of better and smoother overall animation. Google says Android 12 will feel alive with every tap, swipe, and scroll. Performance improvements include 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%.
As of writing these are the devices that we know will be compatible with Android 12 Beta:
- All Google Pixel phones
- ASUS Zenfone 8
- OPPO Find X3 Pro
- OnePlus 9
- OnePlus 9 Pro
- realme (devices not yet specified)
- Sharp (devices not yet specified)
- Nokia X20
- Xiaomi Mi 11
- Xiaomi Mi Ultra
- Mi 11i/ Mi 11XPro
- iQOO 7 Legend
- TCL 20 Pro 5G
- Tecno Camon 17
- ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (China only)
Interested testers can download the firmware here.
Qualcomm officially launches Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Coming first late 2021
A few days ago, Qualcomm officially confirmed a coming name change for its ubiquitous Snapdragon chipset series. Of course, though Qualcomm already announced the change, the company did not reveal the new naming scheme. Now, the mystery is gone. Welcome, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Sporting a new coat of paint, the chipset touts an improved 5G modem, the X65 5G. According to the company, the modem can reportedly reach 10Gbps in download speeds. It can also connect to the emerging Wi-Fi 6 standard, allowing up to 3.6Gbps in download speeds. The upper limit won’t mean much in today’s still-young 5G global network. However, it does mean much for the chipset’s longevity.
In the camera department, the chipset sports an 18-bit processor which can supposedly process 4,000 times more data than its predecessor. It can support up to three 36-megapixel cameras simultaneously. It can shoot up to 8K HDR footage at 30 frames per second, UHD footage at 120 frames per second, or slow-mo 720p videos at 960 frames per second.
Qualcomm didn’t specifically indicate how much the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 differs from the Snapdragon 888 in the performance department. However, it will once again focus on the future of AI. Features that use AI will reportedly get a boost going forward.
According to the company, the first smartphones with the chipset will launch sometime by the end of the year. As expected, more smartphones will come out next year in 2022.
Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has been as much of a staple for the social media network as Mark Zuckerberg has for Facebook. However, as followers of Apple and Microsoft can attest to, long-standing figureheads of tech can change in an instant. Twitter is suddenly undergoing just that sort of shakeup. In a surprise announcement, Dorsey has announced that he is stepping down as Twitter CEO.
On-brand for his eccentric personality, Dorsey tweeted out the internal email detailing his resignation from his post. According to the email, Dorsey now feels that it is time to transition the company from a “founder-led” system to something potentially greater. He, along with other members of the board, has already appointed successors for his position.
not sure anyone has heard but,
I resigned from Twitter pic.twitter.com/G5tUkSSxkl
— jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021
First, now-former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will serve as the company’s CEO effective immediately. Agarwal was formerly an engineer with Twitter but has since led the company through several key decisions beside Dorsey.
Secondly, Bret Taylor, a member of Twitter’s board, will eventually serve as the new chairman. Dorsey will still serve the rest of this term until around May. Between now and the end of his term, Dorsey will help both new leaders transition into their new positions.
Though Dorsey’s announcement has a sense of intensity, this isn’t the first time that the Twitter founder exited his position. Back in 2008, he left his post for a time before returning to helm the company again in 2015. Only time will tell whether this current resignation will stick and what role he will transition into now. Regardless, it’s a new era for Twitter.
Dimensity 9000 will reportedly cost double its predecessor
Same with Snapdragon, reportedly
The end of the year often means the latest generation of smartphone chipsets. Qualcomm and MediaTek, two of the world’s top chipset makers, launch the latest flagship series that will power the following year’s slate of smartphones. Qualcomm already teased a rebranding with their upcoming launch. Now, we have a few more details about MediaTek’s recently launched Dimensity 9000.
Recently, MediaTek launched its next flagship chipset series. The Dimensity 9000 promises impressive performance that can allegedly topple its predecessor’s performance, the Dimensity 1200. However, a promise like that can come with its drawbacks.
Via GizChina, the Dimensity 9000 will reportedly cost double of its predecessor. Though the report does not give actual specifics, it is likely that a more expensive price tag for the processor also comes with an increase in price for the flagship smartphones that it will come with. Next year’s smartphones might come a lot costlier because of the chipset.
If anything, the report also states that the upcoming Snapdragon flagship chipset will also have a higher price tag when it launches soon. As such, most flagships might indeed have higher price tags next year.
Both chipsets have not made their ways to an actual smartphone yet. However, the Snapdragon and Dimensity series do have the most ubiquitous brands for a chipset. If the report does come to pass, we might have to bid our wallets adieu next year.
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