Android 12: Expected release date, features, rollout plan, and everything we know so far

The first preview releases of Android 12 are imminent. The Developer Previews of an operating system are not intended for the general public as they are buggy and unstable, however, they give the developers an idea into what the new iteration of the OS would offers, helping them tweak their applications accordingly. The developer preview will also allow enthusiasts who download it to play with the new APIs and other system changes, and provide feedback to make adjustments prior to the general rollout.

While there is no official release date for the Android 12, an Android Police report adds that the first Android 12 Developer Preview might land very soon. It cites Google bringing normal release schedules forward by around a month last year when they dropped the first Android 11 Developer Preview in February.

 Android 12: Expected release date, features, rollout plan, and everything we know so far

The first Android 12 developer preview is expected as soon as February 2021. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Furthermore, Android Beta Feedback app built into the preview and beta releases since Android 10 Q also got a random update in early February this year, hinting towards an imminent launch. However, one cannot do away with the possibility for it to land in early to mid-March as it would do earlier.

The report also states that the early Developer Previews will be limited to currently supported Pixel devices, which means that all Pixels after the Pixel 2 series will receive the update.

There are also believed to be some similarity in Android 12 to the iOS 14, including privacy features that let users know that an app is using camera or microphone. If users tap the icons they will get a pop-up telling which app is using what.

Image: Android Police

This is what Android 12 may look like. Image: Android Police

The Android 12 will also have a quick way to disable the camera or mic with just the tap of a toggle. The camera and mic usage indicators are going to be mandated by Google to be included by all OEMs once they release their respective updates to Android 12.