Major Android 12 leak points to Google’s biggest visual update in years

With I/O just around the corner, we’re reaching a fever pitch on Google leaks. Earlier this week, we saw what could very well be the Pixel 6, and now, we’ve caught an eyeful of Android 12 in motion — and it looks like it could be Android’s biggest visual overhaul in years.

The leak comes by way of Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech on YouTube. In a new video, we can see what appears to be both still slides and animated promotional material hyping Android’s forthcoming revision. In one slide spelling out “What’s new?” in Android 12, there are specific mentions of “A beautiful new experience,” “Stronger privacy and security protections,” and “All of your devices work better together.” Another slide shows several new UI elements:

Front Page Tech’s edited slide.

From left to right, we can see a new media widget; a battery saver toggle; a small weather widget; redesigned brightness slider and connectivity toggles; a charming analog clock widget; plus and power buttons; a volume slider; some sort of UI including snooze, pin, and info options; “work” and “home” options without context; a new notification UI for snoozing or dismissing alarms; and tweaked notification style.

There’s also a lot to unpack in the animated portion.

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New info starts at 2:57 (slides) and 6:30 (video).

The clip shows updated notification and quick settings visuals, a refreshed keyboard design, a new pill-like style for status bar notifications, an entirely revamped lock screen with a huge clock, a cool ripple animation, and lots of round corners. There’s also a bunch of more obscure shapes and motion that seem like they’re meant to convey greater customizability through theming, which we’ve been expecting.

New notification display, locked and unlocked.

Some of these changes have been rumored for months. In February, XDA shared what looked like internal design screenshots that shared a lot of this leak’s aesthetic, as well as some system UI animations a couple of weeks ago.

Curiously, as Prosser points out, there are a couple of dates featured in this leak that don’t exist this year: Monday, August 25, and Monday, August 27. That seems irrelevant, though, as neither of those dates fall on a Monday last year or next year, either. You can spot brief glimpse of a rotating visual that says “…ber 25 Saturday,” and the lock screen clock reads 9:30 (which could be interpreted as September 30) — but again, considering the wonky dates throughout, those could both just be placeholders, too.

Google’s take on “stock Android” has become increasingly opinionated in recent years, getting more and more stylized with each version. If these changes pan out, Android 12 could be the biggest change in years. We may not have to wait long for more info: Google I/O is kicking off next week, and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear more then.

Personally, I really like Google’s more playful design efforts, so I’m a fan of these changes. For more on Android 12, check out our unofficial changelog of new features you can expect here.

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