back to article Android 12 beta lands bringing better personalisation, speed upgrades, and some privacy tools borrowed from iOS 14

Google has flicked "publish" on its Android 12 beta, with the bleeding-edge OS winging its way to enrolled devices. With the version number, Google has taken an axe to the core Android experience, emphasising personalisation while cribbing some privacy-centric features from Apple. The stock Android experience has remained …

  1. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Looks like shit

    Windows 10 pulled that "extract colors from wallpaper" on me recently. I put up a background of a B-1 bomber taking off into an overcast sky, and wondered why my monitor turned black and white. It pulled the steel color of the plane & clouds and used that exclusively for everything.

    At least it was an option listed in the settings. Android better have that as an option as well and not required.

    1. Matt679

      Re: Looks like shit

      I've been using Muzei for years now -- it basically sets a new background every day, pulling it from a huge gallery of paintings. I wonder how that'll work out!

      New color scheme every day? Sure, sounds just fine!

      /me rolleyes

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Looks like shit

      Personalisation is a big thing: it earned Nokia big bucks when they introduced different coloured phones, ringtones, etc. and Apple launched the iMac with much the same rationale. People love to express their individuality by being the same as millions of others…

      It will be an option because this kind of thing polarises. Personally, I find all wallpapers an unnecessary distraction and remove it but SWMBO, who has the same phone, much prefers her pretty pink homescreen wallpaper to my black.

      1. Cuddles

        Re: Looks like shit

        The thing about personalisation is that it's personal. People like being able to choose the colour of their phone, or pick their own ringtone. Having everything automatically chosen for you based on some entirely unrelated thing you've set elsewhere has nothing to do with personalisation. The big problem here is that most people don't choose their wallpaper because of it's colouring, and especially not for how well those colours might work in a user interface. An awful lot of people have photos of children, pets, friends, and so on, or at least some picture that has some personal meaning to them. That doesn't mean everyone wants their interface to be the colour of a baby's skin.

        There's also the problem of having too much of a good thing. Your partner may well like having a bright pink background on her phone, but I doubt that means she wants everything in all apps to be bright pink at all times. Same principle as photos really - people might like having a quick glance at it before they open an app, but that doesn't mean they want to see the same photo for hours on end all the time they're trying to do something.

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Don't select the Chameleon Wallpaper... will drain your battery.

  3. cb7

    Samsung is conspicuous by its absence from the beta program. I wonder why?

    I must admit, I only recently got my Samsung Galaxy S10e to update from Android 9 to 11 and apart from a few minor niggles, it's a significant improvement in looks, performance and snappiness. I wonder if it'll also end up with Android 12?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      IIRC Samsung has committed to three years updates for the S series so that should include 12. Their software development and, particularly the rollout of updates, has significantly improved in the last few years.

  4. Andrew Hodgkinson

    Yuck - what a colour choice

    Interesting choice to lead with Spew Yellow-Green for the hero images, with some off-magenta thrown in to some other examples I've seen online in the same screen - it's as if they went out of their way to choose the most horrifying colour combinations.

    I suppose it's down to these super-l33t "designers" who are all innovative and cutting edge etc. etc. who've now finished strip-mining the 80s for variations on 2D user interfaces and linear graduated fills, and are now heading into the 90s for variants on those good ol' awful off-cyan/magenta colour schemes popular back then. I guess it'll be all rounded edge, bean-like design too - oh, wait - we're already doing that.


    Looking forward to getting as far as ripping off design from the 2000s, so that we can get contrast back and easily identify what is or is not a clickable/tappable control.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Yuck - what a colour choice

      To quote Oscar Wilde: fashion is something so awful that is has to be changed twice a year. But the hideousness doesn't seem to deter us all from joining in.

      Personally, I think that the various mobile OSes have largely converged on a pretty good system that does provide room for the dreadful customisations that people insist on having. There have been good, and bad (notches), ideas from all sides but, overall, an increasing focus on how phones are actually used. Probably too good to last®.

  5. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    Was hoping to get album art back on the lockscreen

    but no mention of that anywhere.

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