Android 12 may come with significant UI changes

It’s been a big couple of weeks for Android fans. First came the leaks. Then Google officially made its Android 12 developer preview available, allowing curious folks to dig in and see what the company has actually been working on. The past couple of days have brought many discoveries of tweaks and features that Android 12 will offer, including some hints at what UI changes may be on the way.

First up: stacked widgets, similar to iOS. Mishaal Rahman identified the “expanded smart space” feature, which appears to let users scroll between widgets occupying the same space on the home screen. It’s similar to the Smart Stacks feature introduced in iOS 14, which allows you to “stack” widgets of the same size and scroll between them.

A new feature may allow you to swipe across the screen to scroll between widgets.
Photo by Mishaal Rahman

XDA-Developers has also been able to confirm some of the previously leaked UI changes. It’s been able to enable a new lock screen and always-on display, with larger clock text that’s stacked with the hours on top of minutes. On the lock screen, it floats to the right when notifications come in. The always-on display also shows a new placement of notification icons in the upper left of the screen.

It’s hard to know what these UI changes will look like in their final form (if they even make it to the customer-ready version of Android 12), but we do know that Google is planning to change certain aspects of its UI like notification appearance. These developer preview hints give an interesting look at what other changes might be in store.

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