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Android 12 features and changes list

The following table lists all documented features and behavior changes that might affect app developers. Use this list to find changes that affect you, and then click on the corresponding link to read the documentation.

Category Type Name
Activity lifecycle Change (all apps) Root launcher activities are no longer finished on Back press
The system Back button now moves an activity to the background instead of finishing it.
Backup and restore Change (apps targeting 12+) Changes in backup and restore
Include/exclude rules are now specified separately for Google Drive and D2D backups.
Camera New features and APIs Camera2 vendor extensions
OEM-provided custom camera effects are now exposed directly in the platform.
Camera New features and APIs Quad bayer camera sensor support
New platform APIs provide support for ultra high-resolution camera sensors.
Compatibility Change (apps targeting 12+) Updated non-SDK restrictions
Some previously unsupported interfaces are blocked in Android 12.
Compatibility New features and APIs Updated toggles for compatibility testing
Individual behavior changes can be toggled on and off for more granular compatibility testing.
Connectivity Change (all apps) Passpoint updates
Android 12 introduces new APIs to verify device support for Passpoint features.
Connectivity Change (apps targeting 12+) Concurrent Peer-to-Peer + Internet Connection
On supported devices, the primary Wi-Fi network is no longer disconnected when establishing concurrent peer-to-peer and internet connections.
Connectivity Change (apps targeting 12+) mDNSResponder native API
The mDNSResponder daemon now runs only while it is needed for NSD events.
Connectivity New features and APIs Keeping companion apps awake
Android 12 introduces new APIs to keep companion apps running the entire time the companion device stays in range.
Connectivity New features and APIs Companion Device Manager profiles
Companion device permissions can now be bundled into profiles to simplify the enrollment process.
Connectivity New features and APIs Bandwidth estimation improvements
Bandwidth estimates now use all-time weighted averages to improve accuracy for both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.
Connectivity New features and APIs Wi-Fi Aware (NAN) Enhancements
New APIs and configuration options improve efficiency and fault tolerance for Wi-Fi Aware.
Connectivity New features and APIs Concurrent Peer-to-Peer + Internet Connection
Supported devices can now maintain simultaneous Wi-Fi connections to a peer device and the primary internet-providing network.
Connectivity New features and APIs Enable screen off for NFC payments
Apps can now enable NFC payments without the device screen turned on.
Core functionality New features and APIs Automatic app updates
A new API method allows installer apps to perform app updates without requiring user confirmation.
Core functionality New features and APIs Device chipset information
SoC chipset vendor and model information are now exposed via the SDK.
Core functionality New features and APIs Updates to core Java APIs
Android 12 introduces support for a number of core Java APIs.
Graphics and images Change (all apps) Improved refresh rate switching
The refresh rate can now be changed even when the display doesn't support a seamless transition.
Graphics and images New features and APIs Provide apps direct access to tombstone traces
Native crash tombstones can now be accessed without using adb.
Graphics and images New features and APIs AVIF image support
Android 12 introduces support for the AVIF image format, providing better image quality at the same file size.
Graphics and images New features and APIs Easier blurs, color filters, and other effects
A new API makes it easier to apply common graphics effects to views and rendering hierarchies.
Graphics and images New features and APIs Native animated image decoding
The NDK image decoding API now decodes all frames and timing data for GIF and WebP files.
Media New features and APIs Compatible media transcoding
Videos encoded in modern formats can now be converted automatically for playback in apps that do not support those formats.
Media New features and APIs Performance class
Performance classes provide a simplified expression of device capabilities that can be used to provide tailored experiences.
Media New features and APIs Video encoding improvements
Android 12 defines a standard set of keys for controlling the quantization parameter for video encoding.
Media New features and APIs Audio focus
Android now enforces a fade-out when an app that's playing audio loses audio focus.
Media New features and APIs MediaDrm updates
New API methods make it simpler to determine whether a secure decoder component is required.
Performance Change (all apps) Restricted App Standby Bucket
Android 12 introduces a new, stricter App Standby Bucket for apps that use system resources less responsibly.
Performance Change (apps targeting 12+) Foreground service launch restrictions
Apps are no longer permitted to start foreground services while running in the background.
Performance Change (apps targeting 12+) Exact alarm permission
Apps now require a special permission to set exact alarms.
Performance Change (apps targeting 12+) Notification trampoline restrictions
Apps can no longer use intermediary services or broadcast receivers to open an activity when the user taps a notification.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) Microphone and camera toggles
Supported devices allow users to enable or disable microphone and camera access for all apps with a single toggle option.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) Microphone and camera indicators
Status bar icons are now displayed whenever an app accesses the microphone or camera.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) Permission package visibility
Permission info from the package manager is now filtered based on package visibility.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) BouncyCastle implementation removed
Android 12 removes many BouncyCastle implementations of cryptographic algorithms that were previously deprecated.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) Clipboard access notifications
Users are now notified when an app accesses clipboard data from a different app.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) Apps can't close system dialogs
Apps can no longer invoke an intent that closes a system dialog.
Security and privacy Change (all apps) Untrusted touch events are blocked
Android 12 prevents apps from consuming touch events where an overlay obscures the app in an unsafe way.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Approximate location
When an app requests precise location permissions, users can now opt to grant only approximate location permissions instead.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Modern SameSite cookies in WebView
Apps now must explicitly specify which cookies are allowed to work across different websites.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Motion sensors are rate-limited
The system now limits the refresh rate of data from certain motion sensors and position sensors.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) App hibernation
Apps are now placed in a hibernation state if the user doesn't interact with them for a few months.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Attribution declaration in data access auditing
Apps must now declare attribution tags in the manifest to use them for data access auditing.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) ADB backup restriction
ADB backups now exclude app data by default.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Safer component exporting
Apps must now explicitly declare whether their components that use intent filters are allowed to be launched by other apps.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Pending intents mutability
Apps must now specify the mutability of each PendingIntent object that they create.
Security and privacy Change (apps targeting 12+) Unsafe intent launches
Android 12 introduces a debugging feature that detects unsafe intent launches.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Privacy Dashboard
Android 12 introduces a new system settings screen that shows access history for location, camera, and microphone data.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Bluetooth permissions
Android 12 introduces new permissions that let apps scan for nearby Bluetooth devices without requesting location permissions.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Permission group lookup
Apps can now query how the system organizes platform-defined permissions into permission groups.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Hide application overlay windows
Android 12 introduces a new permission that allows apps to hide overlay windows that are drawn by other apps.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Known signers permission protection flag
Devices and apps can now grant signature permissions to other apps without having to sign them at the time of device manufacture.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Device properties attestation
Starting in Android 12, any app that targets Android 12 or higher can verify device properties that are in an attestation certificate.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Secure lockscreen notification actions
Apps can now require authentication whenever specific notification actions are invoked on a locked device.
Security and privacy New features and APIs Localizable strings for BiometricPrompt
Android 12 introduces new APIs to retrieve localized, user-readable button labels, prompts, and setting names for biometric authentication.
Security and privacy Feature Phishing detection in messaging apps (Pixel only)
On supported Pixel devices, Android 12 runs phishing detection on messages received in popular messaging apps.
Storage New features and APIs New directory for voice recordings
Android 12 introduces a new directory to store and identify voice recordings.
Storage New features and APIs Media management access
Android 12 introduces a new permission that allows apps to move, modify, and delete files without showing a confirmation dialog each time.
Storage New features and APIs App storage access
Apps can now create a custom activity that allows users to manage the app's data on the device, and expose this activity to file managers.
Storage New features and APIs Extended file access support
MediaStore now supports expanded APIs for media URIs.
UX Change (all apps) Stretch overscroll effect
Android 12 introduces new visual behavior for overscroll events.
UX Change (all apps) App splash screens
Apps that previously implemented a custom splash screen must now migrate to the new SplashScreen API.
UX Change (all apps) Web intent resolution
A generic web intent now only resolves to an app's activity if that app is approved for the specific domain contained in that web intent.
UX Change (all apps) Immersive mode improvements for gesture nav
Android 12 replaces existing behaviors for immersive mode with the default behavior: BEHAVIOR_DEFAULT.
UX Change (all apps) Display#getRealSize and getRealMetrics: deprecation and constraints
The Display APIs getRealSize() and getRealMetrics() are deprecated in Android 12.
UX Change (all apps) All apps in multi-window mode
Multi-window mode is now standard behavior on devices with large screens.
UX Change (all apps) Camera preview on large screens
Camera apps that request a specific screen orientation and are not resizable now enter inset portrait mode automatically.
UX Change (all apps) UX delay for foreground service notifications
To streamline short-lived tasks, foreground service notifications are now delayed by 10 seconds for certain foreground services.
UX Change (apps targeting 12+) Custom notifications
Android 12 enforces visually consistent layout templates for custom notifications.
UX Change (apps targeting 12+) Picture-in-Picture (PIP) behavior improvements
Android 12 includes improved PiP behavior for single- and double-tapping.
UX New features and APIs Widgets improvements
Android 12 comprehensively revamps the visual behavior of app widgets.
UX New features and APIs Rich content insertion
Android 12 introduces a unified API for inserting content from any source: clipboard, keyboard, or drag-and-drop.
UX New features and APIs App splash screens API
Android 12 introduces a new splash screen API that enables a customizable app launch animation for all apps.
UX New features and APIs Rounded corner APIs
Android 12 introduces new APIs that retrieve the radius and center point for rounded corners.
UX New features and APIs Rich haptic experiences
Android 12 introduces new haptic effects and more granular actuator control.
UX New features and APIs AppSearch
Android 12 introduces a high-performance on-device search engine as a system service.
UX New features and APIs Game mode
Android 12 introduces a new API that allows users to optimize game experiences for performance or battery life.
UX New features and APIs Picture-in-Picture (PIP) improvements
Android 12 introduces several improvements to picture-in-picture mode that allow for a smoother, more intuitive user experience.
UX New features and APIs New phone call notifications allowing for ranking importance of incoming calls
Android 12 introduces a new notification style for active phone calls.
UX New features and APIs Enriched image support for notifications
Apps can now provide animated images in certain types of notifications.
UX New features and APIs Immersive mode improvements for gesture nav
Android 12 simplifies immersive mode to make gesture navigation more consistent with user experience during other activities.
UX New features and APIs Recents URL sharing (Pixel only)
Apps can now allow Pixel users to share web content directly from the Recents screen.
Vendor libraries Change (apps targeting 12+) Vendor-supplied native shared libraries
Non-NDK native shared libraries are now only accessible when they are explicitly requested.