Google announces Android 12, releases first developer beta

The update focuses on performance, with few user-facing features for now.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Google just released Android 12, the next major update to the mobile operating system that powers Android phones. It's currently available to developers, but it will be made available as a public beta around May for those who want to help Google test its software. 

The final release won't happen until later in the year, likely in August or September if Google follows the same release cycle it has in previous years. 

Google hasn't said a lot about what's new in Android 12, other than some under-the-hood changes aimed at consumers and enterprise users alike. For enterprise users, changes are coming to the way Android handles work profiles, simplifying device password requirements and better certificate management on an app-basis. 

Consumer-facing changes aren't all that exciting right now, with Google's developer notes revealing changes to media, security, connectivity, and notification changes. However, I'd expect that once developers (and those who like to live on the bleeding edge) install the first beta, we'll find plenty has changed. 

To be clear, I don't recommend installing any of the developer betas of your main device. I'd only install it on a test device until the public beta is made available, at the earliest.

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