Google I/O 2021
HWM Singapore|June 2021
Google’s annual developer conference around everything the company does. While a lot of the technologies announced just fade into the background of what makes every Google service work, and therefore too boring for the everyman to read about, here are the top three that we’d love to see become reality.

ANDROID 12

Probably the least “exciting” since everyone’s expecting a new Android version every year, but a large part of Android 12 is all about aesthetics - in a more personalised way. A new feature is Colour Extraction, where Android 12 phone users can personalise the UI's colour palette and widgets via their chosen wallpaper. Colour Extraction picks out dominant colours to automatically complement the phone's overall reskin and look.

This level of personalisation isn't just superficial - it cuts across the entire OS, including the shades for your notifications, the look of the Lock Screen, your volume controls, your widgets, and a ton of little details.

Another added perk is a redesign to Android 12 animations. Google promises that animations will be more responsive. For example, dismissing notifications enlarges the clock on the Lock Screen, so users intuitively understand that they've caught up on all notifications. Under-the-hood improvements include 22% reduced CPU time and a 15% reduction in system server load; all these translate to a faster operating system.

Even the Quick Settings and Notifications pull-down menu will get an upgrade - with priority given to glance-values, so all these shortcuts feel more accessible and controllable at a swipe or tap. Google Pay and Home Controls join the pull-down menu as well. Finally, long-pressing the phone's Power button throws up Google Assistant, so you can ask the voice assistant to help out in a pinch.

There will also be a new Privacy Dashboard that tells the user what type of data was used and when, by which app. The dashboard will give users a shortcut to revoking permissions for apps.

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