Google has rolled out the final build of Android 11 to compatible devices. Leading vendors such as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and others are releasing the customized version of Android 11 to their own customers. Some compatible devices won’t get the update until the end of this year. With Android 11 behind us, fans are eagerly looking forward to the next year’s Android 12 software. Let’s check out its rumored features and the expected release date.
Android 12 release date
The search engine giant has just released the public build of Android 11. Google typically launches the first developer beta version of new Android updates in the first half of the year. It then goes through months of developer beta and public beta testing. The beta versions are full of bugs, which are identified and fixed before the final build it released to the public.
Google tends to roll out new Android updates in September/October to the public. Its Pixel phones are among the first to get the update. The Android 12 should follow the same release schedule.
Better support for third-party app stores
Unlike Apple, Google already allows alternative app stores on Android devices. For instance, Samsung devices come with both the Google Play Store and the Galaxy App Store. The search engine giant has just revealed in a blog post that it will make it easier to use third-party app stores. The changes will arrive with Android 12 next year.
The announcement comes as both Google and Apple are facing the heat from developers including Epic Games due to their tight control over the smartphone app ecosystem. Epic Games has accused Google and Apple of acting as gatekeepers and taking a hefty (up to 30%) cut of the revenue generated through in-app purchases.
The Android 12 will bring several changes that will “make it easier” for people to use third-party other app stores on their Android smartphones. Google has to ensure that security is not compromised while using third-party app stores.
The company reiterated that it will not allow apps to circumvent its built-in payment system for in-app purchases. Several companies including Spotify and Netflix have asked their customers to pay directly via browser to avoid Google’s 30% revenue cut. When the Android 12 arrives, they may be forced to use the native system.
Very little is known about the Android 12 features at this point, considering the software is still about a year away. However, a Reddit AMA held by the Android engineering team gives us a sneak peek into what we could expect from the next year’s version.
Better cloud backup
Android’s cloud backup system does a pretty good job. But Google could improve it further next year. The Android 12 could give users greater control over checking and managing cloud backups, especially for those using multiple devices.
Google was expected to roll out the scrolling screenshots feature with Android 11. But due to some difficulties, the company has ditched it from the final build. The functionality is now expected to arrive with the next year’s Android 12. Companies like OnePlus and Samsung already offer scrolling screenshots on their Android smartphones. They achieved it on the forked version of Android.
Better gesture navigation
Google introduced gesture navigation with Android 10, and improved it further with Android 11. During the Reddit AMA, Android engineers said they were working to improve the bottom navigation and the back gesture.
This article was updated with the latest information on Sept 29, 2020.