Google on Wednesday announced the first beta release of Android 12L, the next feature drop for the recently released Android 12 operating system. Aimed primarily at tablets and devices with larger screens, Android 12L will focus on transforming the Android experience from the much-criticised blown-up-phone look to a different experience that calls to mind the larger canvas of tablets.
Today’s beta release includes a refreshed interface for the larger screen, including a notification shade and a column view for the lock screen. A new multitasking dock is being introduced to allow faster access to split-screen and drag-and-drop, and Google has now added a new one to allow every Android 12 app to work with split-screen mode. Worked even though the developers made up for it.
Unlike iOS, the Android experience on tablets and devices with larger screens has been minimal. It makes little sense when one considers that Google shifted its tablet focus from Android to Chrome OS a few years ago. While Chrome OS currently has a decent tablet experience, one would like to reiterate given the current Android 12L dock and split-screen multitasking, the app experience for both remains lacking.
With Android 12L, the company wants to encourage developers to think more carefully about building tablets and larger-screen apps for Android. This is a tall order, as a note, the only tablet hardware available for Android 12L is the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro. You still won’t be able to get today’s update on this. Right now, the Android 12L Developer Preview 1 build is available for that tablet, with a beta update coming later.
Android 12L will affect regular phones as well, though more subtle changes are expected compared to tablets. people at esper have done one Detailed analysis In everything Google added to the developer build before the update. Meanwhile, the beta of Android 12L is currently available for all 10 supported Google Pixels: Pixel 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4XL, 4a, 4a, 5G, 5, 5a 5G, 6, and 6 Pro.