These Are the New Features of Android 12 and the Devices That Support It

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Android 12 is the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. It brings major upgrades to the user experience, privacy, customization, performance, productivity, and accessibility. This article explores the key highlights of Android 12 and the devices that currently support it or will support it soon.


Android 12 represents a significant leap forward for the world's most popular mobile OS. Some of the main benefits include:

  • A fresh visual design called Material You extracts colors from your wallpaper to customize the look of the entire OS.
  • Enhanced privacy controls give you more transparency into app access to your microphone, camera, and location.
  • Performance optimizations through responsive motion and other improvements make Android 12 faster and smoother.
  • Better management of notifications and conversations via notification ranking and conversation widgets.
  • New sharing and screenshot capabilities to easily edit and share screen captures.

Upgrading to Android 12 allows users to enjoy the latest features and security updates. Devices capable of running this new software version will provide an elevated experience.

The New Design: Material You

Material You introduces dynamic theming to Android, tying the visual aesthetic to each user's style. Here's an overview of the key changes to the design language in Android 12.

Color Extraction for Personalized Themes

A signature feature of Material You is color extraction which analyzes the dominant hues in your wallpaper to theme icons, menus, and other elements with complementary colors. Everything from the notification shade to widgets will reflect your wallpaper's color scheme for a cohesive customized look.

Color extraction in Android 12 generates a personalized theme based on your wallpaper colors.

Color extraction in Android 12 generates a personalized theme based on your wallpaper colors.

This automatic theming not only allows self-expression but also improves usability by ensuring high contrast between foreground text/icons and background colors.

Spacious, Comfortable, and Expressive UI

Android 12 expands and refines the UI with more open space, rounded corners, and dynamic effects. Key areas like notifications and quick settings have been reimagined to be more comfortable and visually engaging.

Subtle animations and transitions provide fluid responses to gestures and touch interactions. Everything from launching apps to swiping across screens feels snappier and more intuitive.

This expressive design philosophy extends across the OS to create a more delightful and satisfying user experience.

Enhanced Accessibility

To empower more diverse users, Android 12 adds new accessibility options:

  • Area magnification lets you zoom in on a section of the screen while retaining the surrounding context.
  • Extra dim mode goes beyond the lowest brightness for comfortable nighttime viewing.
  • Color correction tools include grayscale and color inversion to aid users with visual impairments.
  • Audio captions automatically generate captions for media playing on your device.

These features plus enhancements like bold text and high-contrast icons make Android 12 the most accessible Android yet.

The New Features: Privacy, Performance, and Productivity

Beyond the visual refresh, Android 12 also introduces key upgrades under the hood. These changes enhance privacy, speed, and efficiency.

Greater Privacy Controls

Users have more granular control over app access to sensitive device sensors in Android 12.

Microphone and Camera Indicators

New microphone and camera indicators allow you to see when an app is actively using these sensors. Tapping the indicator reveals which app is accessing the microphone or camera.


The microphone is in use indicator in Android 12.

Quick settings toggles allow instantly disabling the mic or camera for all apps to protect privacy when desired.

Approximate Location Access

Apps requesting location access can now only receive approximate locations, preventing unnecessary tracking. Precise location access can optionally be granted as needed per app.

Location permission controls in Android 12

Location permission controls in Android 12 settings.

These granular, context-aware privacy controls limit data exposure while still enabling apps to function.

Smoother Performance

Under the hood, Android 12 accelerates mundane interactions with responsive motion and other optimizations.

  • Responsive motion predicts touch interactions and prepares animations ahead of time for snappier responses. Adaptive refresh rates also match animation rates to the interaction for smoother scrolling, swiping, and transitions.
  • Optimized CPU time prioritizes responsive user experiences over background work. For example, when the user scrolls, rendering will get CPU time preference over background app tasks.
  • Reduced GPU load from optimizations like subtly dimming non-critical surfaces like backgrounds when scrolling.

Together these enhancements make Android 12 the fastest, smoothest version of Android yet.

Notification and Conversation Improvements

Managing notifications and conversations is easier with Android 12's upgrades.

  • Notification ranking uses AI to surface the most relevant alerts first while quieting trivial notifications.
  • Conversation widgets on the home screen provide quick access to recent conversations from various apps.
  • Inline replies allow responding directly from notifications without opening the full app.

These changes prevent distraction from unimportant notifications while streamlining access to priority conversations.

Enriched Sharing and Screenshots

Android 12 expands sharing and screenshot capabilities making it simpler to capture, annotate, manage, and send content.

  • Improved screenshot flow allows quick editing, markup, and sharing of screenshots right after capturing them.
  • Enhanced image compression reduces sharing file sizes without sacrificing quality.
  • The updated media picker makes finding recent photos and videos to share easier.
  • A streamlined sharing interface gets you to your frequent sharing targets faster.

Richer screenshots and sharing functionality improve productivity and collaboration.

The New Devices: Pixel, Samsung, OnePlus, and More

With all these new features and improvements, which devices can harness the capabilities of Android 12? Here are the devices that currently support or will soon support the latest Android version.

Google Pixel Devices

As Google's flagship phones, Pixel devices are always the first to get new Android releases. The following Pixel phones support Android 12:

  • Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
  • Pixel 5a
  • Pixel 5
  • Pixel 4a and 4a 5G
  • Pixel 4 and 4 XL

Older Pixel phones back to the Pixel 3 series will also receive Android 12 updates shortly.

ModelLaunch DateAndroid 12 Release
Pixel 6October 2021Launch
Pixel 6 ProOctober 2021Launch
Pixel 5aAugust 2021October 2021
Pixel 5October 2020December 2021
Pixel 4aAugust 2020December 2021
Pixel 4a 5GNovember 2020December 2021
Pixel 4October 2019December 2021
Pixel 4 XLOctober 2019December 2021
Google Pixel phones that support Android 12.

As Google's in-house hardware, Pixel phones get the latest Android features, updates, and optimizations first.

Samsung Galaxy Devices

As the largest Android phone manufacturer, many Samsung devices are updating to Android 12. These include:

  • Galaxy S21 series
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3
  • Galaxy Note 20 series
  • Galaxy S20 series
  • Galaxy A52 5G and A72

Samsung has committed to providing three generations of Android OS upgrades for select devices going back to the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series.

ModelLaunch DateAndroid 12 Release
Galaxy S21 seriesJanuary 2021November 2021
Galaxy Z Fold3August 2021November 2021
Galaxy Z Flip3August 2021November 2021
Galaxy Note 20 seriesAugust 2020December 2021
Galaxy S20 seriesFebruary 2020December 2021
Galaxy A52 5GMarch 2021January 2022
Galaxy A72March 2021January 2022
Galaxy S10 seriesFebruary 20192022
Galaxy Note 10 seriesAugust 20192022
Samsung Galaxy phones with Android 12 rollout underway.

Along with Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy devices are the fastest to get new Android versions.

OnePlus Phones

OnePlus has emerged as a leading player in the premium Android phone space. The following OnePlus devices already have or will soon get Android 12:

  • OnePlus 9 Pro and 9
  • OnePlus 8T
  • OnePlus Nord 2 and Nord CE
  • OnePlus 7 series

OnePlus promises at least two years of Android version updates along with three years of security patches for its smartphones.

ModelLaunch DateAndroid 12 Release
OnePlus 9 ProMarch 2021December 2021
OnePlus 9March 2021December 2021
OnePlus 8TOctober 2020December 2021
OnePlus Nord 2July 2021December 2021
OnePlus Nord CEJune 2021January 2022
OnePlus 7 ProMay 20192022
OnePlus 7T ProOctober 20192022
OnePlus 7TSeptember 20192022
OnePlus phones are slated to get Android 12.

With its clean OxygenOS software layer, OnePlus devices offer a streamlined Android experience.

Android 12 for Other OEMs

Beyond the brands above, Android 12 will make its way to most modern Android devices from other OEMs as well. This includes phones from:

  • Sony
  • Nokia
  • Lenovo
  • Xiaomi
  • Oppo
  • Realme
  • Motorola
  • Asus

Even many budget Android phones will eventually see Android 12, though update timelines vary across manufacturers.

An assortment of Android phones that will get Android 12.

An assortment of Android phones will get Android 12.

With Android 12 expanding to such a wide range of devices, many users can benefit from the improvements.


Android 12 represents a major evolutionary leap for the world's dominant mobile operating system. The new Material You design language, upgraded privacy protections, performance improvements, and productivity enhancements combine to make Android 12 the most polished and personalized Android yet.

Users with compatible Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, and other Android phones can experience the Android 12 upgrade today. For those with older Android phones, Android 12 should arrive within the next several months depending on your device OEM. With its fresh new look and feel along with under-the-hood improvements, Android 12 is an update worth getting excited about!

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