We’re probably just a few days away from finding out some details about Android 12, as the Developer Preview is coming out soon. We’re already getting some leaks here and there, and one of the things being discussed is that the next update will have a face-based auto-rotate feature. This is for those who have experienced the drawbacks of the current auto-rotation system that is part of our smartphones when they are lying in bed and browsing their device.
Typically you will navigate your device in portrait mode and then if you are watching a video or picture you will turn your smartphone or tablet on its side so you can get the maximum view. Or if you don’t want your phone to automatically change its orientation when you’re browsing, you can lock it. But unlocking and turning and then locking again can be quite inconvenient.
It becomes more of a problem when you are lying in bed, on your side, and your phone and your head will both be to the side. Android Pie made it a bit more tolerable with the button to rotate the screen when Auto-Rotate is off. But it can still be a bit inconvenient. The good thing now is that 9 to 5 Google shares a rumor that we will soon see an auto-rotate feature that will be based on the face. You will use the device’s front camera to check which way the head is turned and if someone is looking at the screen.
This is probably a simplified version of the technology that apps like Snapchat and Google Duo use, which is mostly about face shape recognition. This is most likely device based, as privacy issues abound as well. Any technology or processing that is used will not be stored in a cloud somewhere where it is prone to hacking or other nefarious activities. As for other details on how the feature will work, we have yet to find out.
This face-based auto-rotate feature will likely be something unique to the Pixel when it launches. It could be part of the upcoming Android 12 Developer Preview or it could even be part of an upcoming Pixel feature release.