Before the first Android 12 developer preview landed, some leaked mockups suggested that we’re in for a pretty big redesign with wallpaper-based theming, a new notification shade, and conversation widgets. Most of these features have already been spotted hiding in the first developer preview, and now, we’re also getting our first look at conversation widgets thanks to XDA.
The changes were spotted by XDA Forums member and Android app developer Kieron Quinn, who managed to activate the widget via some reverse-engineering. The widget is called “People Space” while it’s under development, and Quinn was able to confirm that it currently pulls the latest chat partners from the Google Messages app, though right now, it doesn’t display the conversation itself. It also doesn’t work with third-party apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger yet.
The mockups we saw ahead of the first Android 12 developer preview give us a better glimpse at what’s possible with the conversation widgets. You could litter your homescreen with the widgets and monitor multiple conversations and activities at once, including Facebook Messenger chats, missed calls, and calendar events. Third-party app support was also highlighted in internal documents scooped by XDA, and Google currently plans to make the conversation widget a mandatory part of Android 12 for all manufacturers, so you might not even need a Pixel phone to enjoy it.
For more about the Android 12 launch, check out our announcement post detailing what’s new here. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.