Android 12L released for tablets, ChromeOS laptops and foldables
The idea behind Android 12L is offer better optimised tablet experiences in comparison to half baked Android interfaces on tablets.
Google released Android 12 just last week for its Pixel devices and now, it has dropped another version for big-screen devices. It's called Android 12L, where L stands for Large screens. It brings all the same features from the regular flavour of Android 12; the only difference being it can adapt to varying screen sizes and large tablet-like devices. Android 12L is expected to be available in early 2022.
The idea behind Android 12L is offer better optimised tablet experiences in comparison to half baked Android interfaces on tablets. Google says that there have been around 100 million new Android tablet activations last year and with the hybrid work/ education setup, demands for these devices are expected to only rise. The same stands for foldable devices and ChromeOS laptops, of which we have seen many lately.
Android 12L designed specially for tablets
Android 12L brings a new taskbar at the bottom of the homescreen that allows for quick switching between apps, just like a PC. Android 12L also allows all apps to go in a splitscreen mode, and apps can be dragged from the taskbar to quickly enter the splitscreen view.
The UI get the same Material You theme but more refined for larger displays. On larger displays, Android 12L will show the notification shade lockscreen, quick settings and other system elements in a split two column layout. Google says that its system apps are optimized for the refined UI.
What remains to be seen is how developers adapt their apps for Android 12L on larger devices. Apps could make use of APIs to make them adapt according to the interface and even detect hinge movements for adjusting accordingly.
Users would be able to see which apps are optimized for their tablet or foldable devices via the Google Play store. Google itself will assess the app quality according to the published large screen app guidelines and will also rate apps.
Samsung seems to have already started relying on Android 12L testing for its foldable devices. The company has rolled out an open beta program for its One UI 4 for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3.
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