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24 advanced tips for Android 12

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Android 12 is truly a tale of two different Android updates — at least, from a practical perspective.

On the one hand, if you own a Pixel phone, Google’s latest and greatest software is easily the most significant Android release since 2014’s Android 5.0 Lollipop era. Android 12 introduces a whole new interface and design language that’s much more than just a fresh coat of paint. It reimagines Android’s identity and transforms practically every part of the operating system — extending even into an ever-increasing number of third-party apps.

If you own a Samsung device, on the other hand, Android 12 probably doesn’t feel that earth-shattering. As is often the case, Samsung has omitted many of Google’s most meaningful design changes and skipped over some of the software’s core feature elements. As I’ve been saying for years, there really are two completely different Android experiences — the Google Android experience that’s present mostly just on Pixel phones at this point and then the alternate-reality version of Android that Samsung delivers to its devices.

If you own a phone made by anyone other than Google or Samsung — well, time will tell. Until more phone-makers start to get Android 12 to their devices, we won’t know for sure. But odds are, it’ll probably fall somewhere between those two ends of the spectrum.

No matter which flavor of Android 12 you’re tasting, though, a trove of new treasures is just waiting to be discovered. Read on to learn the ins and outs of your phone’s snazzy new software and how to make the most of its changes, both big and small.

Privacy protection

1. While Android 12’s most important privacy progress is under the hood and invisible, one front-facing addition you’ll absolutely want to uncover is the software’s new series of switches for controlling your phone’s microphone and camera.