Android 12L also brings news for Google Assistant, screenshots, and more


On the evening of March 7, Google released an update full of news for the Pixels, starting from the stable version of Android 12L, passing through the new Feature Drop and coming up with this month’s security patches, but there are more three interesting news which until now had gone unnoticed and concern: Google Assistant, the capture of screenshots in WebView and the annoying bug of Widevine which created problems with Netflix HD.

We have talked about the changes brought about by this new important Google update in detail in various dedicated articles: we have seen the devices in the front row to receive Android 12L, the release of the Monet theme system in the AOSP, but also the continuation of the beta program. with Quarterly Platform Releases (QPR). Now let’s find out in more detail other noteworthy news.

Android 12L has boosted the Google Assistant

Let’s start with the virtual assistant Google Assistantwhich with the release of Android 12L has been enhanced and is now able to interact better with Android applications and contextualize them.

The novelty was reported by the usual Mishaal Rahman on Twitter and, as the image shows, it concerns a change in the code: Google is using new APIs in Android 12L to improve the way Assistant manages to track changes in activity within a given app: via the VoiceInteractionSessionAssistant receives data from the app that the user is viewing when the assistant is called to help; information can take the form of a screenshot what the user is seeing on the screen then analyzed via OCR; the assistant may even request one list of supported actions from the specific app. According to reports, this novelty it will make it possible to carry out a greater number of in-app activities with the use of the voice. These new features will debut presumably on the Pixels.

Android 12L brings extended screenshots to WebView

Extended screenshots allow you to merge more information into a single image without having to capture multiple separate ones and are a great convenience. Google Chrome has been supporting them for some time, Android 12 has implemented them at the system level (various OEMs had arrived well in advance with their respective proprietary interfaces, think of MIUI and ColorOS), but the same cannot be said for WebView.

The situation met the long-awaited turning point with the release of Android 12L: finally also WebView supports extended screenshots, with the consequence of being able to capture them also in the web pages opened in other apps. The novelty is visible at work in the screenshots below: when you open an in-app web page and take a screenshot, the usual preview is shown with next to not only the Share and Edit buttons, but also the new “Learn more”With two arrows that make the meaning eloquent. The latter appears only on Android 12L, while on Android 12 there are only the first two, so no extended screenshots in WebView.

Google Pixel: finally Netflix HD with Android 12L

The release of a new software update always captures the attention of enthusiasts, however it remains a bit ‘an end in itself if it brings only secondary or graphic novelties, without solving practical problems that affect the daily experience of ordinary users.

Fortunately, this is not the case with Android 12L, which, if on the one hand it is a version of the operating system designed mainly for the benefit of tablets and folding, on the other it seems to have solved a hateful problem encountered by several Pixel users.

For more details on what Widevine DRM is and what the various levels mean, we refer you to our dedicated article, here it is sufficient to say that, due to a bug, many Google Pixel users found themselves in a completely unexpected and random way in the ‘inability to play Netflix HD content. Well, now Google has confirmed that it has introduced the fix of this bug precisely with the release of the March update (Android 12L and Feature Drop), even if it is not mentioned in the official changelog.

Most users now correctly see the highest level Widevine L1, while others still have problems, which seem to be fixed with a factory data reset after installing the update. The Netflix app has a verification tool in Settings, alternatively you can use DRM Info To check.

Read also: Android 12L arrives with the Feature drop and the security patches of March: news and downloads for the Pixels



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