The development of Android 12 appears to be progressing like clockwork, because just over a month after Google released its second Android 12 beta, Google is releasing the third beta for its next big mobile OS update.
When it comes to Android 12's timeline, this third Android 12 beta is important because it’s the last build before the OS hits platform stability sometime later this fall. This means this should be the last major injection of new features before Google focuses on Q&A and ironing out any remaining major issues.
And while the third Android 12 beta doesn’t have as many new updates as the previous beta release, there are a bunch of handy upgrades including one feature that many Android users have been asking about for years: scrollable screenshots.
In the Android 12 beta 3, Google is finally supporting native scrolling screenshots, allowing you to more easily capture long text threads or a wide range of app content, all by hitting a new “Capture More” option after taking a screenshot. Also, the good news for developers is that Google says scrolling screenshots should work in most apps without needing to make significant changes to the app’s code.
Another notable improvement in the third Android 12 beta is the addition of a new on-device search engine called AppSearch, which allows apps to quickly and more easily find data throughout your phone without sacrificing security. Also, by utilizing your phone’s front-facing camera, Google says Android 12's auto-rotate display function should be faster and more responsive.
Meanwhile for gamers, with the file size of some newer Android games weighing in at 5GB or more (like the newly released XCOM 2 Collection), the third Android 12 beta is getting a new feature that will let you play compatible games as you download them—before the download is even complete. Developers will need to integrate their game with Google’s Play Asset Delivery system to support play as you download, but anything that lets us spend more time gaming and less time waiting is surely appreciated.
Finally, the Android 12 beta 3 includes a number of tweaks and API changes for developers such as new privacy indicator APIs for Android 12's camera and microphone usage indicators, new Game Mode APIs for better tuning an app’s performance, and more. For a more detailed rundown, you can head over to the main Android 12 beta site here.
As always, users can check out the third Android 12 beta by enrolling an eligible device in Google’s beta preview program, or flashing Android 12 to their devices manually. And for anyone who has already installed the Android 12 beta on their device, you should be able to download the third beta as a simple OTA update. But once again, as this is a beta and not a final release, you might not want to install the Android 12 beta on your primary phone.