Android 12 is in for some huge design changes as part of Google’s new design language Material You, and while we like most of them, a few parts just aren’t looking too great. We’d count the new volume slider among those. It has grown to an almost finger-wide width, making it look comically huge. It seems like Google would agree that this isn’t the best design, as the company is working on a smaller, much tidier solution.
The new look was first spotted by XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, who got his hands on a newer build than the currently publicly available Beta 1. The volume rocker is much narrower in the screencast presented by him, and it isn’t broken up in different parts. The slider, the mute/vibrate/alarm switcher, and further options all live in one single stretched out pill on the right of the screen.
The new slider also makes it easier to judge how loud your phone actually is. In contrast to the currently available variant in Beta 1, the new slider sits on top of a thin line depicting your volume level as you reduce volume. The old version is just leaving behind an empty outline and only shrinks down to a circle at max, making it hard to judge how silent your phone is as you’re approaching the mute position.
Left: Android 12 Beta 1. Middle: New variant. Right: MIUI 12 for comparison.
The new variant is visually much cleaner and less busy, which is great — you don’t need the volume slider distracting you from the content you’re watching or listening to. Interestingly, it looks like a hybrid between Android 11’s thin line-based slider and MIUI 12, a combination that doesn’t look half-bad if you ask me.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) May 18, 2021
However, the instantly available mute toggle below the volume slider we’re used to from Android 11 is still nowhere to be seen on Android 12, and at this point, we’re skeptical if it will ever return.