Google announces Android 12L, a large-screen optimized version of Android for tablets, foldables and Chromebooks
Google has been quite busy of late in the mobile space, which is great news for fans of its Android operating system. The company has developed its first semi-custom chip for the Pixel called the Tensor, and it has just launched the Pixel 6 series of smartphones along with Android 12, its latest version of Android. Now, Google has announced Android 12L, a special ‘feature drop’ for Android 12 designed to be installed on tablets, foldables and Chromebooks.
Android 12L aims to address the UI shortcomings of the Android operating system on large screen devices and it is something that fans of Android have long hoped for from Google. Apple’s iPad is often touted as having a much more optimized UI for tablets thanks to Apple’s tablet-focused variant of iOS, which it naturally calls iPadOS. Android 12L is effectively Google’s response and is much better tailored to large screen devices.
Google has optimized Android 12L to look “more beautiful and easier to use on large screens”. To this extent, Google has updated the way notifications look and work, quick settings, lockscreen, overview, the home screen and other areas of the UI. Google has also developed a new multitasking UI it calls the taskbar (think Apple iPadOS dock) that makes it easier to launch, switch apps on the fly and drag and drop to enter split-screen mode.
Google says Android 12L will arrive in early 2022 in time for the new wave of large screen Android devices. For the keen-eyed observer, this probably also means that we won’t see the Google Pixel Fold until around the same time.