Google finally revealed the huge user-facing features of Android 12 at its developer-focused I / O event yesterday (May 19) and it is clear that this is going to be a big year for the software.
The event featured people talking to Pluto in some futuristic AI demos – from the partnership of Google and Samsung to eventually turning Wear OS into a competitor to the Apple Watch – yes, the planet.
But, for phones like mine, the highlight was always going to be Android 12 and Google most definitely delivered.
I’m not going to delve much into the actual features of the software here (check out our Android 12 feature guide for a full list), instead it’s the whole new content AAP aesthetic that really caught my attention.
Content You take elements from your wallpaper and spread those colors throughout the system, giving everything from the updated notification panel to Google’s own apps a more unique experience. The update is full of new, subtle animations and small changes – such as a giant lock screen clock – that catch the eye.
Pixel 6 can completely tie into this new design
The new look comes just days after a major leak showing the upcoming Pixel 6 render – a phone that undermines the basic design that Google has relied so heavily on in recent years.
The Pixel 6 leaks, which can certainly be off the mark and nothing official yet, show a phone that is bold, featuring wildly unique camera modules and color options that are smart and tasteful.
Originally, the Pixel 6 leak showed a device as far away from Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 as possible. While these are two great phones, they are dull to look at. The round design, minimal color choices, and none of the standout Pixel 6 renders flourish.
After seeing what Google has for Android 12, I really hope that these leaks show us a device that we actually get. The software looks like it will fit perfectly, giving Gooley’s Pixel phone some much needed personality. This is something that Google really needs to scale up, especially if it wants its own brand of phones to be able to compete like Samsung, Xiaomi and others.
It can also be a very big year for Pixel phones in another way. Rumors are suggesting that it will drop the Qualcomm chipset designed by Google, Possibly in partnership with Samsung. Codenamed Whitechapel, this new system on chip (SoC) can give Pixel some new features and another unique selling point.
Pixel phones in the past felt functional rather than exciting. They have been the canvas for new features coming to Android and a great camera, but they have never been very high.
With the visual changes to Android 12, and the possibility of an exceptional looking Pixel phone, this may finally be the year that the latest Pixel phone becomes the best Android phone.