Android has been unpopular when it comes to working on large screen devices such as tablets as compared to Apple’s iOS before it became forked into iPad OS for iPads. ust last week, Google released Android 12, and now it’s already announcing the next “feature drop” which it’s calling Android 12L.
The L stands for Large screens, as the release will be target at big screens – all about better adapting the OS to tablets, foldables, and ChromeOS devices. This is to bring an optimized user interface for large screen devices such as tablets, foldable, and Chrome OS devices. Google says it has refined the UI to make Android more beautiful and easier to use on screens larger than 600sp.
Below are some of the visual changes that Android 12L brings:
- A Google search bar at the top
- A six-button power menu that includes bug report and screenshot
- Two-column lockscreen
- A dual-pane interface for the settings menu
- A redesigned overview interface that shows the current app in almost full-screen while other apps are smaller
- Automatic enabling of all apps to enter split-screen mode even if the apps are not resizeable
- Ability for manufacturers to easily customize letterboxing
- A taskbar for large screen devices to make app switching seamless
According to Google, Android 12L will be available early next year, “in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldables”. A developer preview of Android 12L is now out for emulator use, and it will be available “soon” for Lenovo’s Tab P12 Pro. Later a public beta for Pixel devices will be opened too, as Android 12L will also arrive as an update for phones, even though most of its features won’t be visible on smaller screens.
The tech giant says there are over a quarter billion tablets, foldables, and ChromeOS devices running Android in total, and in the past year there were a whopping 100 million Android tablet activations alone. That’s a 20% year-over-year growth. Speaking of growth, foldables are obviously on the rise too, as are ChromeOS laptops. With all of this in mind, the idea for Android 12L seems pretty clear.