Google presents Android 12L, its competitor to iPadOS!

In 2020, there was a significant increase in demand for tablets. Also, many companies that were not interested in this market, or who have abandoned it, are offering new competitors to the iPad.

According to Google, in the past 12 months, nearly 100 million new Android tablets have been activated, which represents an increase of 20%. As for foldable-screen smartphones, they grew 265% year-on-year. And ChromeOS (the desktop operating system that supports Android apps) has grown by 92%.

The Mountain View firm wants its Android operating system to provide an optimized experience for these large-screen devices. And while it has already launched Android 12, this week it announces Android 12L.

You might think that this is a new version of Android 12 for tablets and for foldable screens. However, Android 12 is just a “feature drop”, a series of new features that target certain categories of devices.

Available in preview today, Android 12L will launch in early 2022, just in time for new tablets and folding smartphones next year.

“In 12L, we’ve refined the user interface on large screens through notifications, quick settings, lock screen, overview, home screen, and more. For example, on screens above 600 dp, the notification shadow, lock screen, and other system surfaces use a new two-column layout to take advantage of the screen area. System applications are also optimized ”, explique Dave Burke, VP of Engineering.

Google is also developing improvements to the multitasking experience. For example, the operating system has a taskbar on large screens to allow quick access to applications. It will also be easier to split the screen in half for two apps.

In addition, if Android 12L targets tablets and foldable screens, Google indicates that it will also include new features for conventional smartphones. However, the company prioritizes XXL screens and the preview for Pixel smartphones will arrive later.

Almost another version of Android 12 for tablets and foldable screens

For developers, Google also offers new APIs so that apps can better exploit the widescreen screens of tablets and folding smartphones, but also Chromebook computers. And so that users can easily discover apps optimized for their devices, changes are also being made to the Play Store.

In essence, while Android 12L isn’t billed as a new release, it could be an iPadOS (a tablet-friendly version of iOS) equivalent for the Android ecosystem.