At the Android Developer Summit last year, Google had announced that it is working on the Android 12L operating system, which is designed specifically for large screen devices, including tablets, foldable smartphones, and Chrome OS devices.
The search giant on Monday officially introduced Android 12L as “an update to Android 12 with features that will make tablets and foldables simpler and easier to use.”
With 12L, Google is optimizing the display for the home screen, lock screen, notification shade, device set-up screens, settings, and more, which makes it look more beautiful and easier to use on screens larger than 600sp(scalable pixels).
For instance, the search giant has moved notifications and quick tiles to their own dedicated columns – with the former on the right and the latter on the left – so as to give users more space to view and swipe away notifications. The lock screen also uses a larger two-column layout to highlight notifications and clock.
Further, the Settings app also has a two-column view on devices with bigger screens, which will allow users to see more information when setting up a new device. Users will also be able to make changes to features in Settings without having to go in and out of each section.
“Let’s say you’re looking to change the wallpaper on your device — select “Wallpaper & style” from the navigation panel and make your pick on the side, all in one view,” Andrei Popescu, Android Vice President of Engineering, wrote in a blog post.
However, the biggest change in the Android 12L is the new taskbar, which stores up to six app icons. This allows users to switch quickly among apps when multitasking, and easily start split-screen mode.
“You can also drag-and-drop any app from the taskbar to enter split-screen mode so you can do two things at once. You can watch a YouTube video while you scan the news, or search for accommodations for an upcoming trip in a Chrome browser while you view its location in Google Maps,” Popescu added.
Starting later this year, Google said it will be bringing 12L to your tablets and foldables with planned updates from Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft, and will “continue to build more features and functionalities to help you make the most of your larger screen devices in Android 13 and beyond.”