For the first time, Google has released Android 12L, a large-screen operating system aimed at enhancing the Android 12 experience. Chromebook users will also reap the benefits of the update, but Google isn’t exactly clear how.
For the past few years, Android tablets have only been running a larger version of the mobile OS. Aside from the work done manually by companies like Samsung and Huawei, Android has no support for tablets with screens larger than 8 inches or 12 inches. With Android 12L, all of that is about to change. Features that take full advantage of a larger screen will finally be available with this update So, here’s what to expect in the upcoming update:
The letter L denotes larger displays.
Android 12L improves the user interface to make better use of a tablet’s extra real estate. It makes using a large screen for tasks like notifications, quick settings, lock screen, overview, the home screen, and more much easier. Google introduces a new dual-panel notification center for foldables and tablets instead of a space-wasting single-panel notification center. Quick Settings can be accessed while the user is looking at their notifications.
To better display notifications and the time, the lock screen now features a two-column layout. Other apps, such as Settings, have also been improved.. On top of that, Google is making it easier to use the OS on larger displays. Tablets now have the pattern and PIN controls for a lock screen conveniently displayed to their left. To move the PIN/pattern controls to the other side of the screen, simply tap there
Foldables are also getting a few updates. There are currently improvements being made in order to allow users to move from a single exterior screen to a larger unfolded screen without any noticeable hiccups.
Multitasking made simple and more efficient
It’s easier to multitask on a larger screen, making you more productive. In comparison to the iPad’s productivity features, Android tablets have lagged behind for quite some time. Multitasking on foldables and tablets has never been easier thanks to Android 12L’s multitasking features.
Chrome OS’s taskbar is grabbed by the update to make things easier to use. Also, gestures on the taskbar will allow you to do things like drag and drop to enter split-screen mode and swipe up to return to your home screen. With a long press, you can hide or reveal the taskbar, as well as switch between recently used apps with a quick-switch gesture.
The ability to run two apps side by side on a single screen has never been easier than it is with Android 12L. Directly from the taskbar, you can split-screen your most used applications by dragging and dropping them. The Split action in the overview lets you start split-screen mode with one tap, if that’s not your thing. No matter how resizable an app is, Google says it will support multi-window mode.
Enhancements to compatibility
There is no doubt that Android apps aren’t optimized for larger screens, despite what Google claims. The vast majority of Android apps aren’t as well optimized as an equivalent iOS app would be. Even if you don’t build a tablet app, Google has done a lot of work to ensure that your app looks good on a tablet, even if you don’t. Even though it can’t force app developers to create better apps, it can make existing apps easier to use in large-screen situations.
New features include support for multi-window mode, screen-to-screen continuity, and a host of others. The new compatibility mode from Google will even force app developers who don’t want to use these scenarios to do so. After all, it’s done this before with Android apps running on Chrome OS.
Like all Android features, it will allow device manufacturers to make their own modifications, such as setting the default app aspect ratio, applying rounded corners to the app window, and setting the status bar visibility. Big companies like Samsung and Xiaomi, which already have their own operating systems based on Android, are likely to be pleased.
The release date of Android 12L
Pixel 3a, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5a, and Pixel 6 users will be able to upgrade to Android 12.1, which will be available as part of the Pixel Feature Drop in March 2022. Google promises that Android 12L will come to Lenovo, Samsung, and Microsoft devices in the future, but we can’t test its killer features because we don’t have tablet hardware. While Samsung has already confirmed that it will be bringing Android 12L to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, S8 Plus, and the S8 Ultra, it is not clear what, if any, new features the update will bring to the tablet’s already robust One UI interface.