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
Article Name
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. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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