The fourth beta release of Android 12 went live yesterday following the first public beta that was released all the way back in spring at Google’s I/O event.
The release marks a significant milestone in the process, with the Android 12 Beta 4 now having app-facing behaviors and finalized APIs, and moving into the 'platform stability' section of the development timeline. Developers can now road-test their apps without fear of compatibility issues following the release of the next beta.
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Google is urging app and game developers to begin final compatibility testing now that features, APIs, and layouts have been finalized in the fourth beta. Final compatibility testing is something Google recommends app developers do sooner rather than later to ensure everything is in line moving forward.
Google is about to launch one of the biggest Android design shakeups in a long while, and there are a lot of changes to look forward to. Because of the design overhaul, it's important for app developers to conduct final checks on their apps to stop them from acting up or misbehaving in the refreshed UI.
The Verge (opens in new tab) notes that Android 12’s "refreshed approach to privacy and security is another potential obstacle for apps that haven’t been updated." Though security updates are clearly a good thing for apps and their users, it also means that these apps have to fall in line with new privacy settings – even if it's a bit of a runaround for developers who are responsible for implementing these changes.
You can register for the beta and check the compatibility of the best Android phones over on the Android webpage (opens in new tab). Devices such as the Google Pixel 3 and onwards are compatible, as well as select handsets from other manufacturers' ranges found on the Android compatibility page (opens in new tab).