Each application opened on Android 12 is accompanied by a launch animation to make “starting up a more consistent and enjoyable experience”. One aspect of this is an animated icon on the start screen, with Drive being the first Google app to support this on Android 12.
Update 7/10: When Google first announced the Splash Screen API with Android 12 DP3 in April, Google used Gmail – which already has web animation – as an example. It is now deployed with version 2021.06.13.x of Gmail for Android.
In practice, the application opens and loads in your default inbox just before the “M” completely fills in the center. This new update is still being rolled out via the Play Store.
Original 6/27: This whimsical aspect of Android 12 begins when you tap on an app. The app will expand from where it is on the Home screen (or grid) until it occupies all four corners of the screen. When you open an app that you haven’t launched for a while (cold or warm start), you are also greeted with a start screen with the icon. As such, users are not subject to an additional delay when returning to an application they have just opened (warm start).
Developers can customize the logo that appears, including the option to use an animated icon. Another interesting aspect is how the animations “can be of unlimited duration”, but Google recommends keeping it at 1000 milliseconds. Developers can find all implementation details here.
Developers have long been able to design their own custom splash screens (e.g. YouTube TV), but Android 12 makes it easy for any app to do this as part of the standardization of the opening experience.
The first Google application to adopt this animation is Drive. First you see the six-sided shape of Drive empty and hollowed out. After the start screen takes up the entire display, the colors dark green, yellow, red, blue, dark blue, and green slide in from the edge.
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