Everything to know about Google's Android 12L feature drop
Google had released its latest Android 12 operating system earlier this month. Now, at the Android Dev Summit, it has announced a new feature drop called Android 12L that makes the Android 12 OS "even better on large screens" like tablets, foldable smartphones, and Chromebooks. The tweaked user interface is said to make multi-tasking more intuitive and improves app compatibility for a better experience.
Android 12L is a customized operating system for large screens. It will be released in early 2022. The feature drop refines the system UI to make it easier to use on bigger displays with optimizations across notifications, settings, home screen, and other aspects. According to Google, there are over 250 million active large screen devices like tablets, foldable phones, and Chromebooks, that boot Android.
Android 12L introduces a new two-column layout to display more content in the notification shade. It has improved compatibility mode and new taskbar to launch and switch between apps for multitasking. You can also drag-and-drop apps to work in a split-screen mode regardless of their size. The lock-screen pattern and PIN controls are available on one side of the screen for easier reach.
For foldable devices, the Android 12L polishes the fold-unfold transition of the UI which will reinforce continuity and enable users to seamlessly move from the cover screen to a larger main display. A new API will make the apps "aware" of the fold and hinge, constructively making them natural UI separators. The software also optimizes the home screen grid, among other mentioned features.
Google is also making changes to its Play Store to highlight apps that are optimized for large screen devices. It will also warn the users with a notice on the listing page if a particular app has not been upgraded to adapt to bigger displays.
Google is already working with OEMs to implement the Android 12L feature drop to large screen devices. One of the first to receive the developer preview version will be the Lenovo P12 Pro tablet. The company is also calling on developers to update their apps across multiple screen sizes. To set up the Android 12L emulator, you can follow these instructions: https://developer.android.com/about/versions/12/12L/get.