Android 12 Beta 2 Now Available To Download With Revamped Connectivity And Privacy Controls

android 12
Google launched the first Android 12 beta last month at Google I/O, and now the company is following up with Beta 2. All the new features that we first discussed in our original article are at play here in Android 12 Beta 2, but Google continues to refine the OS experience and UI to the benefit of users.

One of the most significant changes comes with connectivity via removing the Wi-Fi button in Quick Settings, the Status Bar, and within Settings. Instead, the Wi-Fi button has been replaced with a new button called Internet. Tapping it brings you to a screen that allows you to change your Wi-Fi network or toggle on/off your cellular connection. If you have a dual-SIM-capable device, this is also where you'll be able to switch providers.

android 12 internet

Google says that this change will "Help users understand and manage their network connections better."

Another change comes with the Privacy Dashboard, which gives users an easy-to-read interface to check how your data is accessed. "The dashboard offers a simple and clear timeline view of all app accesses to microphone, camera, and location in the last 24 hours," says Google. "Users can also request details from an app on why it has accessed sensitive data, and developers can provide this information in an activity by handling a new system intent, ACTION_VIEW_PERMISSION_USAGE_FOR_PERIOD."

It appears that it is up app developers to comply with the Privacy Dashboard API, as Google simply says it recommends that "apps take advantage of this intent to proactively help users understand accesses in the given time period."

android 12 privacy

Similar to features found in iOS 14 and iOS 15, microphone and camera indicators light up in the status bar when an app is using those respective hardware features. In addition, privileges can be revoked at any time from the Quick Settings menu. Other newly enabled features include clipboard read notifications (to let you know when an app is reading clipboard contents) and overall refinements to the UI and performance as Google pushes towards the public release of Android 12.

"For developers, Android 12 gives you better tools to build delightful experiences for people on phones, laptops, tablets, wearables, TVs, and cars," said Google's VP of Engineering, David Burke. "End-to-end there's a lot for developers in Android 12 - from the redesigned UI and app widgets, to rich haptics, improved video and image quality, privacy features like approximate location, and much more."

Android 12 Beta 2 is currently available to download from Google's developer website for all supported devices.