Android 12 beta 2 feature makes picture-in-picture a slick experience

Android 12 color theme
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
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The second Android 12 Developer Preview – the Android 12 developer beta, as it were – is here, bringing smoother picture-in-picture transitions, additional privacy settings for notifications on lockscreen, and other perks. 

While this preview does, as the name suggests, have a ton of things that only concern app developers, some perks should excite every Android user, as laid out in an Android Developers Blog post (opens in new tab). When swiping up-to-home while watching media, the transition to picture-in-picture mode happens while you’re making the gesture, for instance. 

Users also get expanded privacy and security controls for which notifications show up on lockscreen, and should expect better UX experiences on round-edged phones as devs get better tools to adapt their apps.

More Android 12 Developer Preview perks

Other perks are strictly behind-the-scenes, like letting developers make sure their apps aren’t interrupted by overlay alerts (helpful if you’re in the middle of making a transaction or sending money over Venmo, say).

Developers also get better access to app digests, can keep companion apps awake when linked wearables are near, and add more blur and color filters in complex combinations – including sweet ‘frosted glass’ effects like this:

Android 12

(Image credit: Google)

As always, to get access to a Developer Preview you’ll need to download the Developer Preview SDK (get started here) on a compatible device – basically a Google device ranging from the Google Pixel 3 to Google Pixel 5

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.