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Android 12 might finally solve one of the most annoying smartphone problems

Google PIxel 4a 5G
Google PIxel 4a 5G (Image credit: Future)

While smartphones are incredibly - well, smart - there are still some annoyances you have to get used to, and one of them is the sporadic nature of auto-rotation. This feature is supposed to rotate the screen when the phone is turned so it's always the right way up, but it's often rather temperamental, so it's excellent news that Android 12 could bring a fix.

According to 9to5Google, Android 12 will make auto-rotation factor in not the orientation of your smartphone, but its orientation in relation to your face, using the front-face camera. So the phone screen will always be the right way up for you, whether you're lying down or standing on your head.

The biggest issue with auto-rotation is that it doesn't work well when you're lying in bed or at an angle, as the phone will rotate to be facing up, which isn't the way you're looking. That's not the only issue though, as if you're lying or holding the phone flat, it can sometimes flip around for seemingly no reason. This upcoming feature could make it work a lot better.

The catch? Apparently this new feature will only come to Google Pixel phones. We'd hope, though, that other phone brands will get an alternative in time.

Other Android 12 leaks

At the same time as the auto-rotate feature, a couple more possible Android 12 features leaked out, both via XDA Developers.

The first of these is called 'Reduce Brightness', and it's an accessibility feature aimed at helping those with visual impairments - presumably, it cuts the contrast of the display to make it easier to look at. We don't know too much about this mode just yet, though.

Secondly, there's word of a new gaming-focused mode, though there are no details on what this brings. Many smartphone brands have their own game modes, and they often silence notifications, dedicate all the phone's processing power to the game, and sometimes bring extra features like on-screen controls and controller support.

So Android 12's new game mode could bring similar features, but we'll have to wait to see. These features are all rumored for now, and we'll have to wait until Google shows off the software in mid-2021 to get any idea as to officially-confirmed features.