Android 12 DP2 is out with rounded corner support, better Picture in Picture, and more

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Today, Google is releasing its second developer preview of the next version of Android, Android 12. Note that this isn't considered a beta just yet; that should be coming in May. For now, all of this is focused on developers.

There are a bunch of new features though; for example, there are going to be better controls for lockscreen notification security. Developers can set notifications to require authentication before seeing them, or before taking action on them. Developers are also getting more control over app overlays, which let you show content on top of the active app.

There are a bunch of new UX tools too, such as support for rounded corners. Since so many modern smartphones have rounded corners, Google is introducing new APIs to allow developers to call for information about the corners of the screen being used, so that the app can compensate for them.

Picture in Picture improvements are here, making for a better transition to PIP when a user swipes up to go home. The system will no longer wait until the animation is complete to do it. there's also support for better resizing - including letting the system resize it when needed - and support for stashing a PIP window by dragging it to the side of the screen.

There's also a new API for companion devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers, and it's going to allow you to wake an app when the companion device is nearby. There are new blurs and color effects that can be used in apps, including a way to blur an ImageView without needing the bitmap data. And finally in the UX department, there's a new bandwidth estimation API for apps that need to know a user's bandwidth limits.

As usual, this developer preview is for Google Pixel 3 or higher. Developer preview 3 is on schedule for April, followed by beta releases in May, June, and July, and that will be followed by platform stability in August. Also, Google seems to be rolling out minor updates in-between major ones, so we might see developer preview 2.1 in a couple of weeks.

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