Google today released the fourth Beta version of Android 12 and is in the final stages of release. This also means that the APIs and all app-oriented behavior for Android 12 have been finalized. For apps, the focus is now on compatibility and quality for launch with the official release of Android 12 later this year.

Developers who have not previously signed up for the beta can click on the link to get the Beta 4 push, or if they have previously signed up, they will automatically get the Beta 4 update.

Platform Stability

Android 12 Beta 4 has reached platform stability, a milestone that means all app-oriented behavior has been finalized in Android 12. This includes not only the official SDK and NDK APIs, but also the final app-oriented system behavior and the limitations of non-DK interfaces that may affect apps. Starting with Beta 4, developers can release compatibility updates for their apps as the platform will not change again.

Google is asking all app and game developers to begin final compatibility testing now and be prepared to release compatibility updates for their apps as soon as possible before the final release of Android 12.

Application Compatibility

For Android 12, app compatibility means that your app will work as expected on the new version of the platform. You can check the compatibility of your app by simply installing the production version of your app on your device or emulator and testing it.

Because with each Android release, Google makes wholesale changes to the platform to improve privacy and security as well as the overall user experience of the operating system. These will affect your app, so developers should check for behavioral changes and test against them before releasing a compatible update to users.

Here are some of the changes that need to be tested (for cases where your application has a targetSdkV version of 31 or higher)

  • Foreground service start restrictions – Applications can no longer start foreground services from the background. For high-priority background tasks, use accelerated jobs in WorkManager instead.
  • Approximate location – when an application requests permission for an exact location, the user can now choose to grant an exact or approximate location.
  • New Accurate Alerts permission – Applications that want to use Accurate Alerts must request a new permission SCHEDULE_EXACT_ALARM;
  • Modern SameSite cookie behavior in WebView – if the developer’s application uses WebView, test your application with the new SameSite cookie behavior.
  • Safer component export – your application must explicitly specify the android:exported attribute for any application component that uses an intent filter.
  • Custom notifications – the system applies standard notification templates to fully customized notifications and provides support for application names, application icons and expand/collapse data.
  • Notification of trampoline restrictions – notification that your application can no longer be launched using “trampoline” – an intermediate broadcast receiver or service that launches the target activity.

In the coming weeks, there will also be a Beta version available as a release candidate for developers to do final testing.

More details can be found at: