As we approach the release of the first Android 12 Developer Preview, new information keeps trickling in about the upcoming OS release. Earlier today, we reported that Google is working on a one-handed mode, a stashing feature for picture-in-picture windows, and many UI changes, but we’ve also learned that Google is developing several minor features that may or may not make their way into the Android 12 stable release. These features include a smarter autorotate feature, gaming mode, and a reduced brightness Quick Setting tile.
We all know how frustrating it is to have your phone’s screen rotate when you don’t want it to. Android’s autorotation feature relies on your phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer. It’s not a particularly sophisticated feature, and when it doesn’t work properly, it can be really annoying. For that reason, many people use third-party apps or disable autorotate entirely, instead relying on Android’s manual rotation suggestion button.
Fortunately, it looks like autorotate could be next in line to receive a taste of Google’s AI. We’ve learned that Google is working on a “smart autorotate” feature in Android 12. While we don’t have many details on this feature, 9to5Google reported earlier today that it may use your phone’s front-facing camera to detect the position of your head before changing the orientation.
We’ve also learned that Google is working on a new “GameManager service” in Android 12. This is distinct from the existing GameManagerClient that’s part of Google Play Services and is used for managing Google Cast gaming sessions. GameManager service is described as a “service to manage game related features.” For example, the service can “manage the game mode and persist the data” across reboot[s]. We don’t have any details on what this feature will do, but we suspect it’ll be an API for games to trigger a basic “gaming mode” on devices. This “gaming mode” could manage some basic settings like automatic brightness, autorotation, Do Not Disturb mode, and more.
Separately, we’ve also learned that Google is merging a new Bluetooth API that will let games detect the battery level of connected Bluetooth controllers. This will let the game inform you when your controller is about to die, giving you time to find a place to pause and then recharge your controller.
Reduce Brightness QS Tile
Lastly, we’ve learned that Google is developing a new feature called “Reduce Brightness.” This feature, originally called “Reduce Bright Colors” during development, is intended as an accessibility feature to aid those with visual impairments. We don’t have a before and after screenshot to showcase the feature, but it’s said to be part of the default set of Quick Settings tiles for new users of Android 12.
That’s all we can share about Android 12 for now. Keep an eye out on our hero page for Android 12 as we’ll constantly update it with any new features we find. With the first Developer Preview right around the corner, there’s bound to be a ton of features for us to cover.
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