After launching in July 2020, NASA’s Perseverance touched down on Mars at around 3:55 PM ET yesterday, following a smooth descent to the surface. Perseverance’s engineering cameras shared images from the landing site shortly after touchdown, which you can see here. If you’re waiting on high-resolution photos for your next PC or smartphone wallpaper, you’ll have to wait on NASA a little longer.
Perseverance will use imaging and ultraviolet cameras for hunting down a good dig site somewhere inside the Jezero Crater, a 28-mile section of Mars that was once an ancient river or lake. NASA believes that a body of water, roughly the size of Lake Tahoe, existed there between 3 and 4 billion years ago. The space agency hopes to find signs of ancient microbial life, maybe some preserved organic molecules when Perseverance drills into the crater’s surface.
If you’re particularly inspired by the Mars rover mission, we’ve profiled how some of NASA’s engineers got to where they are now.
While some of us are dabbling in new emoji in the beta of iOS 14.5, Android 12’s developer preview approaches. While it’s primarily dense documentation aimed at developers, we pulled out a few details. Gesture navigation will be streamlined and more consistent while you’re playing a game, reading a book, or watching a video. And while developers can still only show the translucent navigation bar (to prevent accidental swipes when in full screen), an app that doesn’t have it will default to recognizing a swipe from the side or bottom as going back or home.
Android 12 will also have support for “audio-coupled haptic feedback.” This means developers could create experiences like simulating rough terrain in a racing game or allowing custom ringtones paired with vibration patterns to identify the caller when the device is in the user’s pocket.
This initial preview is meant only for developers, so Google is limiting it to manual downloads. But if you’re a developer or feeling risky, you can install the preview today by flashing a device system image to a Pixel phone (Pixel 3 and newer).