Android 12 could add a recycle bin and automatic app translation

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What treats does Android 12 have in store for us when it launches later this year? Code spotted in early, unreleased versions of the mobile operating system suggest that both a recycle bin and automatic app translation could be on the way.

XDA Developers did some diligent digging to find the recycle bin or trash folder option, which works exactly as you would expect – deleted files aren't fully erased right away, just in case they need to be restored.

It's actually a feature that's already available in Android 11, although you can't really get at it. The way that the Android recycle bin works at the moment is that specific apps can restore specific types of file if they have the right permissions, so it doesn't work in the same way as you might expect if you've used the Windows recycle bin or the trash folder on macOS.

The new code suggests the Android 12 recycle bin is going to be system-wide, and accessible through the Google Files app – so anything that you delete in any app can be brought back from the digital grave if you've made a mistake in erasing it.

Speaking your language

Another intriguing feature spotted by XDA Developers in an as-yet-unreleased build of Android 12 is automatic app translation: so Android will actually translate apps into your local language, without developers having to write the translations themselves.

That could be hugely useful for anyone using Android in a language other than English, and it looks as though the "translation service" might use Google Translate or even be open to third-party translation apps if you have a different preference.

It looks as though the feature would work in a similar way to Google Translate on the web, or the way that Google Lens can translate words in images – the translated text would appear almost instantly, as if it was coded into the apps themselves. Android itself already supports a host of different languages in terms of the OS menus and settings.

As always with these sneak previews of Android, there's no guarantee that Google will keep either of these features around for the finished version of Android 12 – but we hope that they make the cut. The developer preview of Android 12 is out now, and we're also expecting a beta release before the final version arrives at some point later in the year.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.