Android 12 Beta: Everything you need to know



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.

Material You

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%.

Compatible Devices

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.


Twitter now allows mixing videos, photos, and GIFs in one tweet

A more creative way to post



Twitter India

Throughout the years, we’ve seen how Twitter has evolved, from having a lengthier character limit to replacing squares with circles in its overall page and app layouts.

Now, the popular networking site has come up with a new update which will allow users to post videos, photos, and GIFs all in one tweet.

This change has been tested in the last few months with popular creator and brand accounts across the sports, music, and entertainment industries.

Here are some examples:

Starting today, all users on the platform may now be able to take advantage of the ability to mix different media in a single tweet.

There will still be a maximum of four media in one tweet, but the change definitely gives users more room for creativity in their posts to standout and be more engaging.

Judging from the examples above, the posts kind of mimic Instagram content; it might lessen the need for Twitter threads too.

SEE ALSO: Twitter’s edit button is for paying users only

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Instagram will start to put ads on a user’s profile

And on the Explore page



Ads are everywhere. Several platforms are testing where and how much they can put without raising a lot of fuss from their users. On a few occasions, a platform can cross the line, prompting a wave of reprisals. Instagram, for example, backtracked on a controversial decision to pump out more recommended posts and ads after massive backlash. Despite the recency of the controversy, Instagram is back again with another ad-fueled decision: ads on user profiles.

This week, Meta announced that two more types of ads are coming to Instagram. The first type is a natural extension of what the platform already has. Instead of hiding video ads deep within the Explore section, these short videos will start popping up right on the section’s landing page. Since the section already has ads, it might not be as intrusive, especially when compared to the second type.

Besides a new spot in the Explore feed, Instagram is also adding ads to a user’s profile. Likely to a lot of users’ dismay, it is what it says on the tin. Offering some consolation, the platform won’t spoil a profile’s grid with an ad. Instead, when a user clicks on a post on the profile, the vertical feed, which usually shows a timeline of the profile’s content, will contain spots for ads.

Instagram has not officially confirmed which users will get the feature. However, the company is currently testing it for select creators. It also assures users that it will come only on public profiles, not private individuals.

SEE ALSO: You can snooze recommended posts on Instagram

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YouTube might ask users to pay to watch in 4K

In testing phase



Despite offering a mostly free service, YouTube is finding new ways to monetize parts of its platform. Now, ads are a lot more prevalent while watching videos. A less popular way is gating some features behind the platform’s YouTube Premium banner. YouTube is trying it once again, though. The platform is currently testing whether to keep 4K viewing behind a paywall.

With the capabilities of displays today, YouTube and its creators can offer content in stunning 4K resolution. Though not everyone can enjoy the feature, 4K viewing was a welcome one.

However, as spotted by some users on social media (via TechCrunch), the video-sharing site is reportedly making the viewing option exclusive for Premium users. The company has not officially announced any change yet. However, YouTube’s other accounts on Twitter replied to some concerned users on the site, citing an “experiment” to test what works for Premium and non-Premium users.

The company is still gathering responses to the experiment. However, if the initial social media response is any indication, a good chunk of YouTube’s users isn’t pleased with having to pay more to enjoy high-quality content.

Currently, YouTube Premium comes at US$ 11.99 per month for interested customers. The paid subscription offers ad-free viewing and offline viewing. If the company sees some progress with the experiment, they might ad 4K viewing to Premium’s mix.

SEE ALSO: YouTube has quietly launched a Podcasts hub

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