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Android 12 leaked screenshots give us a first look at how the Android update could look

Android
Android (Image credit: Future)

When Android 12 starts rolling out to smartphones, an event likely to take place towards the end of 2021, we'll probably see it bring a slight redesign of the Android 11 user interface, as well as a collection of new features. A new leak has given us a first look at both Android 12's new look, and some of the tools it could bring.

According to XDA Developers, a document draft from Google detailing Android 12 changes was leaked, and the pictures from it were obtained by the site. These screenshots cover a range of menus from the Quick Settings scroll to the camera app and home screen.

From the screenshots, we can see evidence of a few new features not present in Android 11, including one that was previously leaked. We'll run you through these features, so you can get an idea of what Android 12 could bring.

Android 12 leaked features

Android 12 features

Android 12 home page and widget features (Image credit: XDA Developers)

It seems Android 12 could put a bigger emphasis on widgets, according to the screenshots - these are little blocks for the home screen that let you utilize app features without opening the software, and while Android phones have had them for years now, they've received an increase in interest recently thanks to iOS introducing the feature.

The widgets shown are all for conversations, and it's possible this suggests widgets will soon have a bigger emphasis on social media and chat app functionality.

In the Android 12 screenshots the widgets use a minimal design and fit the color scheme of the smartphone user interface. We'd heard a previous leak stating Android 12 would let you choose a system color, and most of the screenshots use the same beige tint that matches the background, suggesting this is the color feature at work.

Android 12 features

Android 12 settings and privacy features (Image credit: XDA Developers)

One screenshot shows the Quick Settings menu, which can be found on Android devices by swiping down from the top. The screenshot only shows four icons - Wi-Fi connection, Airplane mode, battery saver and dark mode - while currently in Android 11 you can see six at one time.

It's not a hard task to scroll down again to access even more options, but this screenshot suggests Android 12 will provide super-easy access to fewer options than before. 

In this same screenshot, to the top-right, there's a tiny notification bubble showing an icon of a microphone and the camera. A separate screenshot shows what this is - Android 12 will notify you if your camera or microphone are currently in use, or have been in use recently, which seems to be a privacy feature so you know if you're on show or not.

A screenshot from the camera app shows the notification bubble still appears there though, which seems unnecessary and takes up screen space.

We'll be adding all these features to our list of leaked and rumored Android 12 features, a list which has been steadily growing since 2021 begun - if all these features make their way to future Android 12 phones, the new operating system could prove one of the biggest updates yet.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.