Google announces Android 12L, a feature drop for large-screen devices

Google has announced Android 12L, which Google is calling “a special feature drop that makes Android 12 even better on large screens.” In simpler terms, Android 12L is aimed at large-screen devices such as tablets and foldable phones.

With the Android 12L update, Google has refined the user interface (UI) on large screens across notifications, quick settings, lock screen, overview, home screen, and more. For example, Google says any screen with 600 density-independent pixels (dp) and above will show the notification shade, lock screen, and other system surfaces as a new two-column layout to take advantage of the screen area.

Google has also optimized the system apps to offer users a better experience. It even brings a new taskbar on large screens that lets users instantly switch to favourite apps. The taskbar also makes it easier to access the split-screen mode.

One will just have to drag and drop from the taskbar to run an app in split-screen mode. All apps can enter a split-screen mode in Android 12L, which is particularly important when dealing with foldable phones.

Google has also made changes in Play Store to highlight apps that are optimised for large screens. The company will launch new checks to assess each app’s quality against Google’s large screen app quality guidelines. One will also see large screen-specific app ratings. All these changes will be visible starting next year.

The company revealed in a blog post that it is planning to release the Android 12L feature drop early next year, in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldables. The developer preview of Android 12L is already out for emulator use, and it will soon be released for Lenovo’s Tab P12 Pro.

In the near future, a public beta for Pixel users will be released as this update will also be available for smartphones, though most of its features might not be visible on smaller screens.