Android 12 is now rolling out to Google Pixel devices

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 20, 2021
Google Android

Android users who use a Google Pixel device may install the new Android 12 mobile operating system on their devices starting today. Google enabled the update for all Pixel 3 and newer devices. The update is not advertised to users, at least not yet.

Pixel users may go to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update to see if the update is offered for their device. A tap on the install option downloads and installs Android 12 on the device. The update had a size of 1.5 Gigabytes on a Pixel 3a test device.

Android 12

Android 12 includes a number of new features and changes. Google's blog post is a good start as it lists core new features and changes. Google's post lacks instructions on how to enable certain features that the post mentions. You will find instructions below to get started right away.

Android 12 introduces a new Material You design that Google calls a Pixel-first feature. You will notice the new Material You design when you change the wallpaper of the device. Android 12 uses "advanced color extraction algorithms" to match the colors of the wallpaper elsewhere, including on the lock screen, notifications, in settings, widgets and some applications. The experience will become available to other device makers and phones according to Google, but for now, it is a Pixel-exclusive.

Android 12 includes several redesigned widgets. Google notes that more than 12 widgets will become available by the end of the month. Widgets have not been cool for quite some time, but companies like Google, Apple or Microsoft started to introduce them again in recent versions of their operating systems.

New Privacy Dashboard

android 12 privacy dashboard

Android 12 includes a new privacy dashboard that displays the permissions that applications used in the past 24 hours. Each permission and the number of applications, if any, that used it are listed on the page. Tap on a permission to display all apps that have used it or are allowed to use it. A timeline may also be displayed, which lists when certain applications used the permission.

It may be useful to analyze the use of permissions on the device, and to limit access to certain permissions, or even uninstall applications based on permission-use.

Part of the screen magnification

android 12 magnifier

There is also a new option to zoom any part of the screen at any time, and to make other color and brightness related modifications. Previous Android versions supported full screen zooming only. Android 12 introduces part of the screen magnifying.

To enable it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Magnification, and turn the feature on. Doing so adds an accessibility button to the device to activate the feature. It is still possible to use it only for full screen magnification, but you may also switch to part of the screen zooming or a toggle-mode option to switch between both modes.

Android 12 users who prefer to use the device with a single-hand may enable One-Handed mode in the settings. To activate the mode, go to Settings > System > Gestures > One-Handed Mode. Android 12 displays instructions on how to use the mode. It is disabled by default, and needs to be enabled first.

Once done, you may swipe down from the bottom edge of the screen to move the top of the screen closer to the thumb. The default option can be changed to display notifications when swiping down.

Here is a rundown of other features of Android 12

  1. A new indicator informs you if applications use the microphone or camera. Both sensors can be turned off or on, using two new quick setting toggles in Android 12.
  2. Location information sharing supports exact location sharing and approximate location sharing now.
  3. Extra permissions and cached items of "unused apps" are removed and deleted.
  4. Picture-in-Picture Mode supports pinch-to-zoom to change the size of the video.
  5. Screenshot feature supports scrolling windows now.
  6. Wi-Fi Credential Sharing may be activated now by selecting the wireless network in the Wi-Fi settings and selecting the Share option that is displayed.
  7. Games may be played while they still download.

Now You: what is your take on Android 12?

Android 12 is now rolling out to Google Pixel devices
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Android 12 is now rolling out to Google Pixel devices
Android users who use a Google Pixel device may install the new Android 12 mobile operating system on their devices starting today.
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  1. Frank su said on November 3, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Android 12 is very stable I like it.

  2. Anonymous said on October 29, 2021 at 7:30 am

    I totally agree. I think the new display is UGLY. I hate that everything is forced to be bigger, even with adjusting the sizes the spacing is weird. And I hate the new notification drop-down menu button size and the wall paper color matching options suck. Just give me full ability to make it whatever color I want. It literally feels like they took more settings away and I hate it. Not impressed. Wish I could go back to 11.

    1. Anonymous said on October 29, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      The pull down screen is ridiculous. I cant peak without it opening over the whole screen?

  3. Selden said on October 26, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    I updated my Pixel 4a on October 25. Spent several hours changing what I could, although some things, like the day/date display at top left of the Home screen can not be moved, resized, or removed.

    Overall, Android 12 is fugly, and has none of the cohesiveness or grace of Android 11. It’s not worth the effort to downgrade to Android 11 (as 12 would come back again eventually).

  4. ULBoom said on October 21, 2021 at 1:24 am

    Lock screen clock is comically big, like half the display height! Apparently it can’t be resized. A few weird things in 12 but overall it’s OK.

    1. Robert said on October 21, 2021 at 3:02 am

      At first I didn’t like lock screen clock and wanted to disable it but this morning all I had to do was glance at it from a distance to see what time it was. I like it now for that reason. Of course it has to be charging to see it from a distance. They also redesigned the analog clock widget and at first I wanted the old one back but now the new one is growing on me. It’s like I have a new phone.

      1. Jojo said on October 21, 2021 at 9:20 am

        I like it better than A11. But everything on the lock screen is white font. I wish they would offer the option to customized the screen with colored fonts.

        I had the weatherbug widget on my primary home screen but that got removed and replaced with a simple top left line date and right below it a small cloud & temperate. But it has locked up the whole right portion of the screen above the top line of icons and below the notification bar, which leaves a lot of unused space that I can’t put anything in. WHY?

  5. Jojo said on October 20, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Will Google enable A12 on my Pixel 3XL?

    I thought the Pixel 3 models were at EOL. If they allow A12 on them, then they are going to have to keep the monthly security updates coming for at least a few months more.

    1. ULBoom said on October 21, 2021 at 1:37 am

      scroll down a bit for the whole list for stable 12:

      For pixel 3XL, support until at least Oct 2021, I’ll venture it will be longer since you’re on the android 12 list:

      1. Jojo said on October 21, 2021 at 9:03 am

        Installed it. 1.65GB download. But install went faster than many of the monthly security updates!

        Menus and options and such looks better standardized.

  6. Anonymous said on October 20, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Why is the UI so ugly now? Everything is too round and big. Thank God for ROMS.

  7. ilev said on October 20, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Many Android users must be envy of the 0.0001% of users that will get Android 12.

  8. ShintoPlasm said on October 20, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Everything is YUGE now – it basicallh feels like Samsung’s OneUI.

  9. piomiq said on October 20, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    And new Pixel 6 with new Android 12

  10. ULBoom said on October 20, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Got it yesterday. Really not much different than 11 except in New Google style, everything suddenly got BIGGER. I went from the largest font size to the smallest. Default used to be rather small, now it’s very large.

    Didn’t remove or replace too many of my sideloaded apps but added a Google Pay thing and that Pixel Tips (Buy stuff!!! Buy stuff!!!) thing to the main drop down. Bye bye.

    Sliders became fat, they look silly but are easier to use, that’s a plus. A few useful features added.

    Why is basic Android so freaking big? It’s about the same size as Windows now, 13 GB for me. I probably have 12 GB of that disabled, just like Windows.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on October 20, 2021 at 8:38 pm

      Why is Android so big? Well, it’s basically a Linux distro at this point… :)

  11. Paul(us) said on October 20, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    I am wondering or the approximately 1.5 Gigabytes size of the update will slow down the (even slightly) older devices or/and even cripple ( Even freeze) some of the older devices, with not enough work (RAM) memory on board or even storage?

    Does Android 12 remove complete the older redundant Android 11 or will it linger on main device?

    Is there a possibility for older devices to bloc a update to android 12?
    Blocking preferably on a way that Android 11 is not even searching for the Android 12 but will keep on searching for the o.s. Android 11 necessary updates?

    1. ULBoom said on October 20, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      Depending on how old your device is, it may not be eligible for further updates, look on the manufacturer’s site.

      In developer options, settings>system>developer options, there’s a slider to turn off auto system updates. Try that.

      If developer options haven’t been enabled, you have to press “developer options” six or seven times in a row to enable it. Be careful what you mess with in there.

      And, yeah, Android’s become serious bloatware, my old phone would hold about half of 11 or 12.

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