Samsung has announced that it is releasing a public beta version of Android 12 for Galaxy S21 devices, just weeks ahead of when we expect the final OS to be officially available for the first time on Pixel phones.
Registration for the beta program has already started and users will need to register with the Samsung Members app to try it out – and if Samsung repeats the past, the number of open slots will be limited. However, it is not available in all countries for the time being.
The beta is actually for Samsung’s One UI 4, its Android customization. This distinction is important because one of the main changes in Android 12 is the new design. On a Pixel smartphone, or a device that will use an almost clean version of Google’s operating system, all the buttons are big and the colors dynamically change based on your wallpaper, a style that Google calls “Material You”.
On a Galaxy S21 phone, we still don’t quite know how much of the Google design language Samsung will use, as its own customization has its own design. Here is the official list from Samsung:
- A variety of theme options allow you to adjust the look and functionality of your device, providing tools to configure your home screen, icons, notifications, wallpapers and more.
- Redesigned and updated widgets offer deep customization – from visibility to appearance.
- You also get convenient access to a more robust and diverse range of emojis in one place
Samsung is also adopting Android 12’s visual indicators for when the microphone and camera are in use. It will also have buttons to turn off these sensors completely.
New widgets are also welcome – most of them on most Android versions have started to look a little old-fashioned. As you can see at the beginning of this post, Samsung’s widgets look clean, to say the least, and have big rounded corners. They don’t go as far as Google’s new widgets, though.
If you are in the US, China, India, Germany, Poland, South Korea and the UK, you can now try this new Beta version.