Android 12 was released on October 4, bringing the biggest UI change in years. But what else does Android 12 have to offer from a device management and end-user perspective? Many things, to be honest, but here are some of the highlights we found interesting.
What has changed in the UI?
Google announced that one of its goals is to be accessible to even more people and that Android 12 is its most personal OS ever. In fact, Android OS has gone through a major makeover when it comes to the user interface while still staying familiar to Android users.
At first glance, you notice the updated colors and shapes of the user interface. New spacious design and focus on the color contrast aim to increase the accessibility for those with low vision. Device users can also personalize the look and feel of the entire phone.
Focus on privacy and security
In Android 12, Google is clearly focusing on device user privacy with more transparent notifications and privacy features. End-users have more control over their device and data, which has a direct effect on Android device management and application development.
For example, features like file and application management, and location tracking, utilize data that is considered "user sensitive". Google is now paying more attention to this type of data, which will also change the way devices can be managed with MDM.
These privacy changes have implications also for application developers. Now, developers have to justify why their application needs access to files and an overview of all installed applications.
Here are some of the essential changes in Android 12 you should pay attention to if you are an application developer or managing company devices:
- End-user notifications: Android 12 has a privacy dashboard that indicates when applications have access to the device's camera, microphone, or location — giving more transparency to device users.
- Location tracking: End-user can decide only to use an approximate location instead of a precise location. Third-party applications must adjust according to this new setting to keep functioning.
- Quick settings: In the top menu, devices have a quick setting for disabling the use of a microphone and camera. Some applications might malfunction if they've previously had access and then it's suddenly denied.
- App hibernation: If an application has not been used for a long time, its runtime permissions are reset, and the app goes into hibernation mode.
- Password complexity: The password for devices in Work Profile mode is now defined with a feature called Password Complexity. Password requirements are in the form of predefined complexity buckets: High, Medium, Low, and None. This has a slight effect on the way device administrators can define a password policy for personally owned devices used for the company’s tasks.
Overall, the changes in Android OS have always affected application development, but the new Android 12 has a remarkable number of changes affecting it. This version is truly focusing on end-user privacy, which requires both application developers and device administrators to adapt.