Easter eggs — that is, hidden secrets that may take years or even decades to find – have been a long-standing tradition in Android. The first landmark Easter egg arrived with Android Gingerbread; it was the result of a nifty collaboration between the artist Jack Larson known for his zombie pieces and the Android development team. In light of that, it's not surprising to learn that the first Andriod Easter egg was a piece of artwork — specifically, a painting of a zombie gingerbread man alongside the Android mascot.
The fun factor of Easter eggs has waxed and waned over the years, with some iterations being full-fledged games, and others simply a small nod to the latest Android release. Despite that, it's easy to see why the many iterations of Easter eggs have become a favorite among Android fans. Though the Android 12 Easter egg isn't nearly as entertaining as Android 5.0's Flappy Bird clone, it's still in there and a fun nugget to find. Fans of Material You will be especially pleased since the Android 12 Easter egg's colors change based on your home screen wallpaper.
The Android 12 Easter egg is hidden in a common menu
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To find the Android 12 Easter egg, you need to start in the Settings app on your phone — which, of course, must be running Android 12. Keep in mind that each device manufacturer has its own Android skin, so the names of menus and the look of your Settings app might vary a bit. However, the steps used to find the Easter egg are generally the same regardless of which phone model you're using.
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll to the bottom of Settings and tap "About phone" or "About device."
- Within the device information menu that opens, tap the option called "Software information."
- Within the software information page, look for and rapidly tap the option called "Android version" three times to start the Easter egg. The first part of the Easter egg will open with a Material You-themed clock over your home wallpaper.
- To access the rest of Android 12's Easter egg, tap and hold anywhere on the clock so that the minute hand snaps to your finger.
- Move the minute hand around the clock until the hour hand and minute hand are both over the 12 o'clock position.
- Release the minute hand and you'll see the full Android 12 Easter egg.
You can look at the Easter egg for as long as you'd like, though as we mentioned, it's not a terribly interesting one. Once you get bored, you can exit the Easter egg by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, tapping the back button, or using the back gesture, depending on how you have your phone set up.
The Android 12 Easter egg doesn't have a deep meaning
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If you've followed all of the steps correctly, you should see a sea of Material You-themed dots over your wallpaper with a larger dot in the center. Contrary to previous versions of the Android Easter egg, the fun factor in Android 12's Easter egg is subtle. Firstly, the arrangement and size of the dots are never the same — you can test this out by closing the Easter egg and reopening it again. Secondly, being a Material You showcase of sorts, the Android 12 Easter egg changes colors based on your wallpaper.
If you're disappointed by the Easter egg, don't worry — you're not the first person to be unhappy with the lack of personality and interactivity in Android's hidden surprises. Perhaps thinking Google is dropping the ball regarding entertainment and personality in Android, even manufacturers like Nothing seem to be taking matters into their own hands by adding all manner of fun Easter eggs for Android fans to play with.