Google introduced new redesigned widgets with Android 12

Google is almost ready with its next Android version. The latest Android 12 beta brings a set of visual changes that allow users to personalize the interface on their devices with features such as Material You.

In addition to the new UI, the latest version also brings long-awaited changes to widgets in Android, and the official announcement confirms the repeated leaks and speculations we have seen recently. The new widgets in Android look more attractive and more useful.

Google redesigned the Widgets API to enhance the user experience across different platforms, Android appearance, and launcher. We see the constant expansion of Google Sans fonts, flat icons, and sticky color palettes, all of which together provide a more modern look for widgets.

Widgets in Android 12 have gained new dynamic controls, allowing you to interact with checkboxes, radio buttons, and switches without entering the app. Now, the widget selector will also provide responsive previews for widgets of different sizes.

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In order to be consistent with the visual changes in Android 12, Google wants developers to implement widgets with rounded corners and padding. The new API also adds support for dynamic coloring as part of the Material You theme engine, enabling widgets to adapt to the wallpaper like other visual elements.

Google also removed the configuration steps required to place widgets on the home screen and added new APIs to construct backward-compatible widgets. More importantly, widgets can also use Android 12’s new color extraction function to look more integrated with the user’s theme on the home screen.

Interestingly, the information in the gadget can now be accessed by Google Assistant to provide quick insights using the Capabilities API. Google pointed out in a blog post that Assistant can now provide users with “one-time answers, quick updates, and multi-step interactions” by browsing the information available in the widget. In the future, Android Auto will also be able to get information from widgets to provide you with context and relevant information while you are driving.

As early as Android 1.5, widgets have existed in Android, but since Android Ice Cream Sandwich, its functions and implementation have remained unchanged. So, naturally, when the first Android 12 leak indicated improvements to the widgets, we were not at all excited.

We expect Google to learn from Apple on how to improve widgets, and it seems to be progressing well. Considering that this is only the first beta version of Android 12, we hope to see more improvements in the beta version before the final version is released.


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