Welcome to Android API level 31, aka Android 12. Google’s latest OS had one of the weirdest rollouts ever. An anticlimactic source code release happened in the beginning of October, but if you wanted to run Android 12 on a device officially, you had to wait until Pixel 6 launch day, when Google also shipped Android 12 out to older Pixel devices.
In a way, this was appropriate for Android 12: a Pixel-centric release for what feels like a Google-centric OS. Android 12 rolls out Material You, a design style that Google says will someday follow you across the company’s ecosystem. It’s a Google-centric design that will probably not please a lot of big brands, but it looks great.
Besides Material You, there are also a million features to cover, like a new file system, a fresher and more upgradable Linux kernel, and notification changes. Let’s dive in.