- Google announced Android 12L, a new update to Android 12 specifically for large screens.
- The future feature drop is targeted towards tablets, Chromebooks, foldables, and other similar devices.
- The code for this will appear on smartphones, too, but they won’t have use for the related features.
Although there are plenty of Android-based tablets out there, they haven’t been able to carve a dent in the massive market share of Apple’s iPad. One of the big reasons for this is because Android has weak systems in place for catering to the larger displays of tablets.
Finally, Google appears to be taking this problem more seriously. Today, the company announced Android 12L which is specifically targeted towards tablets, Chromebooks, and foldables. It includes features that would make using those larger displays easier and more efficient.
See also: Your guide to the best tablets
This is not a new version of Android. Instead, this is like a new feature drop for Android 12 itself. In other words, there won’t be Android 12 devices and Android 12L devices — they’ll all be Android 12. But Google is calling this new feature drop by a unique name to signify the importance of the update.
The first developer preview of 12L is available today through the official Android emulator. There will also soon be a DP specifically for the Lenovo P12 Pro, so grab one of those if necessary. Eventually, there will be developer previews for Pixel phones, too. However, since most of the features will be invisible on smaller displays, those previews will only really be helpful for developers.
Android 12L: What’s in store?
Generally, the Android 12L update just makes the experience of running Android on a large display better. That includes polished UI elements and compatibility support.
However, there’s more to the update than just that. In the image at the top of this article, you can see how Android will reformat the notification drop down to take a two-column approach when visible on screens with a 600dp or higher.
Android 12L will launch in early 2022.
In the GIF above, you can see how a new easier-to-use split-screen feature allows you to easily run two apps at once. You can also see a new taskbar that automatically appears when using devices like tablets. Just drag-and-drop the app you want on the display and it will appear in the portion you choose.
Android 12L will also allow apps to auto-format in ways that work better for large screens. Developers, of course, are encouraged to specifically cater their apps to make them look great on all sizes of screens. But 12L will make things look better even for apps that developers haven’t tweaked.
Android 12L will launch “early next year,” which Google says will be just in time for the new wave of Android tablets. Time will tell if this development helps put a dent in Apple’s tablet dominance.
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