Android 12L custom ROMs are here from Descendant and Pixel Experience
If you have been salivating at the news of Google Pixel smartphones receiving stable Android 12L builds, you could try pushing your OEM to be quicker about rolling out the update to your device. Alternatively, you could follow along with our custom ROM coverage wherein we highlight the Android 12L ports from the community. More users are invited to this party, as source-built Android 12L custom ROMs are now available from Descendant and Pixel Experience project maintainers.
The Descendant custom ROM is known for offering a fresh take on AOSP with loads of unique features. Back in December 2021, the developers behind the project released the first official builds based on Android 12 and continued updating them till February. After a brief hiatus, the team is now back with Descendant 12.1 Android 12L as the base, a plethora of device-specific fixes, and several new functionalities.
The first notable change is the Descendant recovery: A tailor-made minimalistic custom recovery, which is now available for most of the supported devices. You can download it in the form of a standalone recovery or a boot image alongside the flashable ZIP package for your smartphone. Face unlock is now integrated into the ROM, and there’s a built-in weather app with feed support. The build roster this time offers GSI targets as well.
The complete changelog of Descendant 12.1 is as follows:
Descendant 12.1 Changelog
- Bug fixes
- Solved an issue that was causing collision between Sony’s styled clock and weather
- Solved an issue that was causing wrong scaling for vibration icon in volume bar
- Solved an issue that was preventing Sony’s styled clock to correctly update time
- Solved a typo in Settings for the word “lockscreen” in English localization
- Improved fingerprint processes haptic feedback
- Improved Gestures Magic operativity on clean install
- Improved the amount of available apps tinted icon for launcher
- Interface changes
- Brightness bar transition from unexpanded Quick Settings Panel to fully expanded Quick Settings Panel has been improved
- New features
- Face Unlock has been added
- Fullscreen gestures, added in : Settings > System > Gestures > System navigation > Gesture navigation (gear icon)
- What’s new can now check and notify for Descendant system updates
- Weather app has been added and will feed weather infos to the system and users
- Security patches level
- April 2022
Being one of the most popular custom ROMs out there, Pixel Experience is sought by many Android enthusiasts to mimic the software experience of the Google Pixel. Although the project started offering official Android 12 builds in December last year, fans of the ROM have been asking its developers to add in some additional features and release a separate “Plus” variant. After rebasing the codebase on top of Android 12L last month, the maintainers are finally ready to provide Pixel Experience Plus releases from this month’s update.
Apart from bumping the security patch level to April 2022, the Pixel Experience team now offers a number of tweaks through the “Plus” version. For example, you can access the network traffic monitor and per-app volume settings, which are not accessible in the regular build. The goal was to always focus on stability and porting over Pixel features, hence the overall experience is not too much deviated from the vanilla variant.
You can find the comprehensive changelog below:
Pixel Experience April 2022 Changelog
- Vanilla version
- April security patch
- Fixed charging animation not appearing
- Fixed unlock sound playing repeatedly
- Updated translations
- Others fixes
- Plus version:
- LiveDisplay (color profile, display mode, reading mode, color calibration)
- Hide Notch support
- StatusBar shortcuts
- Rotation settings
- Lock screen display (media cover, music visualizer, power menu)
- Per-app volume settings
- Increasing ring volume
- Different gestures
- Power and Volume button customizations
- Network traffic monitor
- Brightness (brightness slider, auto-brightness, brightness control)
- Quick settings (quick pulldown, title visibility, vibrate on touch, rows, columns)
To date, more than 50 devices have received official Pixel Experience Plus support on top of Android 12L. Given time, more developers are likely to expand the list as they complete the device bring-up.
It goes without saying that you should back up your data before attempting to flash any of these builds, or any other custom ROMs. If its loss will affect you, back it up — no excuses. These builds are primarily targeted at users who want to try out the latest version of Android, Android 12L, and understand the risks attached to aftermarket software.