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Android 12’s third developer beta helps apps get more from cameras and haptic hardware

Android 12’s third developer beta helps apps get more from cameras and haptic hardware


Alongside tons of under-the-hood tweaks

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Image: Google

Android 12’s third developer preview has arrived, and among its host of updates are new OS-level tools to help app developers get more out of the camera and haptic hardware found in modern Android flagships. App launch animations, call notifications, and linking between apps are among the other tweaks made in this release.

It’s a developer-focused beta, meaning much of this could change before Android 12’s full release later this year. However, it’s likely to be the last preview before Android 12 enters beta next month and receives an official unveiling at Google I/O, meaning the preview should provide some useful hints about Google’s priorities for the next major version of Android.

First up, the preview gives developers more options for how to offer haptic feedback in their apps, an important development given the big strides Apple has taken with haptic feedback on its devices. Google says these new haptic feedback options should help with everything from UI events to effects in gaming. The APIs are optimized for the Pixel 4 at the moment, and Google says it’s working with other manufacturers to expand support across more devices.

App startup animations are getting an overhaul

There’s also better camera support for ultra high-resolution sensors, like those with Quad or Nona Bayer patterns such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Platform-level APIs will help developers make better use of these cameras, Google says, which should translate to better performance from third-party camera apps. 

There are also a couple of tweaks to the general look and feel of Android. Call notifications are getting a new template to make them more visible, easier to understand at a glance, and more consistent with other notifications. The way Android handles links to specific apps is also changing to open your browser by default, rather than the standard app chooser dialog box. Finally, app launch animations are also getting a makeover, including new splash screens.

There are also many more under-the-hood tweaks Google is making with the third developer preview, touching everything from how apps offer alarms, to machine learning and debugging options. If you’re a developer, you can grab the new preview now from Google’s developer site for the Pixel 3 and newer (or else you’ll receive the new preview as an update if you’re already running the developer preview). The new preview is also available in Google’s Android emulator.