Google has officially announced Android 12L, a fork of the latest version of the smartphone operating system. Android 12L has specific optimizations, APIs, and multiple tools that make it suitable for large screens, portable devices such as tablets, and foldables.
Realizing there are multiple new and powerful portable devices with large screens that need a reliable, easy, and capable operating system, Google has announced Android 12L.
Google announces Android 12L, designed specifically for tablets and foldable devices:
The Android operating system is quite versatile and capable. It offers multiple advantages such as one-click app installs, easy navigation, integrated email, and other services.
However, the operating system fails to optimally utilize the larger screen real estate that the majority of tablets and new foldable devices offer. Android on a large screen device is quite awkward, or perhaps even uncomfortable, to use.
Google Android 12L Screenshots pic.twitter.com/gy78uwHYjN
— TechDroider (@techdroider) October 28, 2021
It is safe to say Android OS still looks and works best on a smartphone. After Android Honeycomb, Google hasn’t really developed the OS specifically for larger screens.
Moving ahead, Google will offer Android 12L, a version of the OS, for devices with larger screens. Google already offers Android TV OS for televisions. Hence, Android 12L should work on devices that are larger than a smartphone but way smaller and portable than a TV.
How is Android 12L different from the regular Android 12?
Google claims Android 12L is specifically for tablets and foldable devices. The company also hinted the OS could power Chromebooks.
Incidentally, Chromebooks already have Chrome OS. Hence it is not clear how Android 12L will work on the same.
— The Verge (@verge) October 27, 2021
The new version of Android, however, does bring new APIs, tools, and guidance that should help developers optimize their apps for large-screen devices. The most notable inclusion is the two-column layout for devices with screens above 600dp.
Large screen devices offer to multitask, and Android 12L promises to make the experience more powerful and intuitive. The update brings a new taskbar on large screens that will let users easily switch to their favorite apps like they would on desktops.
Here's the roadmap for the Android 12L Developer Preview. The first Beta release drops in December, followed by a second in January and a third in February. The final release happens in Q1 2022, likely March.
Beta 2 will bring finalized system behaviors and APIs. pic.twitter.com/82aKgSjfGU
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) October 27, 2021
The new taskbar also helps users easily view two apps in split-screen mode. The new Android version automatically enables all apps to enter split-screen mode even when the system cannot resize them.
Google assures it has improved the compatibility mode with visual and stability improvements in Android 12L. These improvements claim to offer a better letterboxing experience and make apps look better by default on large screens.
Seems like Android 12L is bringing back Daydream and Allo. At least according to Google's own promo screenshots 😁 pic.twitter.com/2ANFAvfFMI
— Andreas Proschofsky (@suka_hiroaki) October 27, 2021
Google is offering additional tools that tablet and foldable device manufacturers can use to customize letterboxing. These should allow them to set custom colors or treatments such as adjusting the position of the inset windows, applying custom rounded corners, and more.