Android 12 “Snow Cone” can change how stock Android works

It looks like the next version of Android will be the biggest yet. An earlier leak showed how Android 12 will make some pretty big changes to the Notifications panel and Quick Settings tiles, but it was apparently just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of that iceberg is slowly but surely being exposed, drawing a picture of a next-generation Android that could change how people use the platform, especially the stock version of Android, almost catching up with what other manufacturers have already been doing for several years .

That previously reported Android 12 leak hinted at some major changes in the overall look and feel of the system. This will apparently be what Google internally calls “Material NEXT”, the next version of its design language that permeates even its non-Android products. Expect some of these to be controversial, XDA points out, with the Quick Settings tiles getting a new layout that may wrinkle some feathers, just as changes in Android 11 did last year.

In addition to the looks, though, Android 12 reportedly gets some multitasking and accessibility features that are frankly long overdue. One-handed mode, which shrinks the screen to a corner for easier accessibility, has long been a request and feature from other OEMs like Samsung and Huawei. Being able to squeeze to resize a picture-in-picture window is also late but appreciated. Oddly enough, an “original” feature is the ability to stash the PiP floating window to the side.

However, some changes in Android 12 can only be reserved for Pixel phones or first. 9to5Google detected an automatic rotation function based on the direction of your phone and your head. This should solve the problem of trying to use a Pixel phone while you are in bed, not that you should do it anyway, at least according to some productivity and health experts.

An insignificant but still interesting nugget about Android 12 is something that no one is likely to see. Although Google has removed dessert names for public releases, it still has not given up on these goodies internally. After Android 11 R’s “Red Velvet Cake”, Android 12 S is apparently called “Snow Cone”, an almost timely code name given the weather in some parts of the US right now.

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