Android 12: The developer preview has been launched

Google has launched the Android 12 developer preview with options which are certain to make builders jobs extra environment friendly. Jack Wallen has the small print.

Picture: Jack Wallen

As we speak, the primary developer preview of the subsequent iteration of the Android working system (v12) was launched. In keeping with Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google, “this 12 months the main target is on making the OS extra intuitive, higher performing, and safer.” This primary preview of Android 12 is particular for builders to make sure their apps are suitable with the brand new options added to the working system. In different phrases, this developer preview is just not for public consumption, so regardless of how excited you might be to get the brand new launch put in, you may need to preserve ready.

Let’s discover what’s included with this primary preview of Android 12 that may assist builders enhance their apps and the Android ecosystem.

SEE: Prime 5 programming languages for methods admins to be taught (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Belief and security options

Privateness is taking middle stage with Android 12 within the type of extra transparency and management. Within the preview launch, builders will discover new controls over identifiers that can be utilized for monitoring and safer defaults for app parts. Different belief options embrace:

  • Trendy SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView: This may present extra safety and privateness and provides customers extra transparency and management over cross-site cookies.

  • Restricted Netlink MAC: In Android 11, Google restricted device-scoped Netlink MAC based mostly on API degree 30. In Android 12, this restriction is being utilized to all apps, no matter targetSDK degree.

  • Safer exporting of parts: Google is altering the default dealing with of the android:exported attribute to be extra express. With this applied, parts that declare a number of intent filters should explicitly declare an android:exported attribute. This may forestall apps from inadvertently exporting actions, providers, and receivers. 

  • Protected dealing with of intents: With the intention to make PendingIntents safer, Android 12 requires apps to explicitly declare a mutable flag both by way of FLAG_MUTABLE or the brand new FLAG_IMMUTABLE.

Media and picture enhancements

Cellular cameras are more and more capturing within the HEVC format, which vastly improves high quality and compression over older codecs. For apps that can’t assist the HEVC format, Google is introducing the flexibility to routinely transcode recordsdata into Superior Video Coding.

The subsequent launch of Android additionally introduces assist for the AVIF (AV1 Picture File Format), which takes benefit of the intra-frame encoded content material from video compression. This makes it potential to effectively transmit high-quality video over the web. Much less bandwidth can be utilized for higher-quality photos and video as a result of the picture file dimension may be decreased with out reducing high quality.

Person-facing expertise enhancements

Foreground providers make it potential for apps to handle sure user-facing duties. If overused, these providers negatively have an effect on app efficiency and might even result in app kills.

To enhance foreground service, the Android 12 developer preview launched the brand new expedited_job in JobScheduler, which can get elevated course of precedence, community entry, and runs immediately–regardless of constraints. For apps that may require backward compatibility, Jetpack_WorkManager_library has been launched.

Different additions to enhance the person expertise embrace:

  • Privateness safety.

  • Wealthy content material insertion makes it simpler for apps to obtain wealthy content material.

  • Haptic-coupled audio impact, which permits builders to create extra immersive recreation and audio experiences.

  • Multi-channel audio enhances audio with spatial info.

  • Immersive mode enhancements for gesture nav makes gestures navigation simpler and extra constant.

  • Notification UI updates makes notifications extra fashionable, simpler to make use of, and extra practical. Notifications may even be sooner and extra responsive.

  • Improved Binder IPC calls, which can yield a roughly 2x efficiency improve on general Binder calls, with a 47x enchancment in refContentProvider(), 15x in releaseWakeLock(), and seven.9x in JobScheduler.schedule().

Compatibility testing and stability

Google has altered how builders take a look at adjustments that have an effect on their apps. Particular person adjustments are usually not toggle-able, which implies devs can extra shortly remedy compatibility points between their apps and the brand new launch.

Alongside these similar traces, Android 12 makes it potential for much more of the platform to be up to date by means of Google Play. 

Platform Stability milestone

Android 12 consists of the Platform Stability milestone (launched in Android 11), which provides builders superior discover when app-facing adjustments will happen. Previous to the adoption of the Platform Stability milestone, Google might make adjustments to APIs and different features of the platform all the way in which as much as the ultimate launch. With the inclusion of the Platform Stability milestone, something that might have an effect on a developer’s app is closing. Which means what builders see on this first preview is strictly how APIs and different developer-centric features of Android will work upon closing launch.

Android 12 rumors

In fact, the developer preview is not in regards to the new and improved user-facing options that may arrive within the betas and closing launch. If you would like to examine what’s rumored to return to the Android 12 platform, take a look at my article Android 12: What’s rumored to be coming to Android’s subsequent iteration.

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