In the latest release, Google has launched a number of updates that enable developers to squeeze more functionality from their smartphone’s camera, alongside extra mileage from the haptic hardware found in devices such as those on our best Android phones.
- Best phones overall: Our top picks right now
- Longest-lasting phones: The best phone battery life
- Plus: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 just leaked in all of these colors
Happier with Haptics
The third developer preview expands the suite of options available to developers when designing haptic feedback in their apps.
In the full blog post (opens in new tab), Google says that the new update will enable developers to provide better feedback options for UI events, gaming and productivity. Haptic feedback is an important part of a smooth user experience, where developers can shape how they communicate with users through touch.
One such new effect in the Android 12 third developer build, dubbed “low tick,” takes advantage of the “broader frequency bandwidth of the latest actuators,” as reports XDA Developers (opens in new tab).
In simple terms, it means game developers can separately manipulate different controllers' actuators — the part of a controller that converts a signal into a mechanical motion — synchronizing them to deliver richer haptic effects to the person controlling the game.
Upgrades to cameras and call alerts
Currently, the APIs are optimized for the Pixel 4, with Google collaborating with other firms to extend to support across more devices.
Notable improvements to camera support have also arrived, including ultra-high-resolution camera sensors. Through this, third-party apps can put these powerful sensors to good use through new platform APIs arriving in the third developer preview.
The new developer preview improves call notifications, too. Alerts are now placed more visibly at the top of the screen, which makes it easier to see and receive these notifications.
Other improvements mean better performance from the battery. Namely, this comes in the way alarms are managed. Google refers to inexact alarms (opens in new tab), which Android manages to “minimize wake-ups and battery impacts,” such as Doze and App Standby functions.
These alarms are better at energy saving than their battery-draining counterparts, called exact alarms (opens in new tab). Scenarios where you require more precise time management, like alarm clocks and timers, use exact alarms because they’re dependable, but much more demanding of the battery.
Android 12 will include some changes to give users greater control over these features, enabling users to better manage battery performance.