During Google I/O 2021 last month, Google presented the first Android 12 beta. However, prior to that rollout, Google promised plenty of new features that weren't included in the initial beta.
Thankfully, some of the promised features are included in Android 12 beta 2, which is currently being rolled out. This contains the Privacy Dashboard as well as a host of other privacy and security settings. There's also a new network connection method that looks a lot like Samsung's One UI. One of the most eagerly anticipated new features in the update is the context-aware visual redesign.
To install Android 12 beta 2, you'll need a Pixel 3/3XL, Pixel 3a/3a XL, Pixel 4/4 XL, Pixel 4a/4a 5G, or Pixel 5. You should receive an OTA notification soon if you already have the beta installed.
Privacy Dashboard in Android 12 beta 2
With Apple making big changes to its iPhone privacy and security policies, it was only a matter of time before Google had to react. The new Privacy Dashboard is a part of that reaction. At Google I/O, Google provided a lot of resources on this topic. However, now is the time to give it a go.
The Privacy Dashboard in Android 12 beta 2 gives you an overview of your privacy situation on your phone, as the title implies. This one-stop-shop, like Google's Digital Wellbeing, should help you figure out what you need to tweak on your phone to make it more secure.
Other security and privacy features
At Google I/O, in addition to the Privacy Dashboard, Google showcased new microphone and camera security features. These features, like the Dashboard, were not included in the initial beta. Thankfully, they're included in Android 12 beta 2!
In the upper right corner, there are indicators for microphone and camera usage. When an app uses one of these systems, it will show. If you don't see the icons, you can rest assured that the systems aren't in use.
There's also a setting if you want to manually turn them off so that no apps can access them. The newly designed Quick Tiles make it simple to turn off the microphone, camera, or both, as shown in the GIF image.
Finally, anytime an app accesses your clipboard contents, the operating system will now notify you with a toast notification. If the clipboard contents originate from the same app, the notice will not appear. This will give you peace of mind that any important information you've copied won't end up in the wrong hands.
Changes for connectivity
With Android 12 beta 2, you'll be able to interact with your network connections in a new way. Long-pressing your Wi-Fi Quick Tile on Android 11, as in earlier Android versions, sends you to the networking section of Android settings. However, you now have a handy pop-up with the most frequently used toggles and links.
This reminds me of Samsung's One UI, which includes a feature similar to this. With this and the redesigned sections under Android settings, it's obvious that Google is drawing inspiration from One UI for Android 12.