The first developer beta of Google’s next major upgrade for its mobile operating system – Android 12 – is only a few weeks away. While the company hasn’t shared an official release timeline yet, a few leaked screenshots have surfaced online, giving us our first glimpse of Android 12’s fresh UI, and some apparent aesthetic as well as functional inspirations from iOS 14.

Tapping on the privacy indicator will let users enable/disable the access to mic or camera

As per XDA-Developers, the Android 12 screenshots come from documentation and source code that is shared by Google with partners to make them aware of the upcoming changes. A couple of screenshots show a small notification dot at the top to tell users that an app is using their phone’s camera or mic. Tapping on it opens a small window at the top that tells the specifics about the app’s hardware access.

From there users can access the relevant settings page where they can choose to disable the camera or mic access via dedicated toggles. These toggles appear on a dedicated Privacy page, which appears to have been overhauled for the upcoming Android iteration. Now, this privacy indicator is not a unique addition for Android 12, as iOS 14 already takes a similar approach by showing a circular icon at the top when an app is using the camera or mic.

Now, iOS 14 doesn’t have the same toggles as shown in the leaked Android 12 screenshots, but there are similarities. Apple’s operating system allows users to enable/disable mic or camera access on a per-app basis, something that was spotted by PC World. But do keep in mind that these UI elements might be changed or even nixed during the development phase and might never be released widely via the stable channel.

Android 12 might introduce a fresh take on widgets as well

Another aesthetic aspect worth noticing is a widget redesign that looks similar to their implementation on iOS 14. “We can see an alleged new “Conversations” widget in Android 12 that may highlight recent messages, missed calls, or activity statuses,” notes the XDA-Developers reports. Interestingly, it appears that Google will make these new conversational widgets mandatory for all devices running Android 12. 

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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