Android 12L Beta 1 features: what’s new for tablets and foldables
Google’s upcoming Android 12L update, designed to improve the experience on tablets and foldables, has taken its first step towards a public launch.
The first beta of Android 12L was released today, but it’s not very useful right now. It’s only officially available on Pixel phones; none of them offer tablet-sized or foldable screens.
Announced in October, the Android 12L update will bring user interface improvements, a dedicated multitasking interface for tablets, and better app compatibility for those who use Android outside of the candy bar smartphone realm.
In a blog post, Maru Ahues Bouza, Director of Android Developer Relations, explains, “With 12L, we’ve optimized and fine-tuned the system’s user interface for large screens, made multitasking more powerful and intuitive, and improved Compatibility support to make apps look better. out of the box. 12L also includes a handful of new APIs for developers, like for spatial audio, and improved drag and drop for accessibility.
These UI improvements include an automatic switch to a two-column notification shade (main image) for screens above 600dp, taking more advantage of this surface. The multitasking changes (above) bring a new taskbar that makes it easier to switch between apps. You can also drag and drop apps in split screen mode.
The update also brings a host of new APIs to help developers refine their apps and build new ones for those larger screens.
While the first of three beta versions is currently only available on Pixel phones, Lenovo is releasing the beta version of the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro. If you have signed up for the Android Beta program, Android 12L Beta 1 is now available as a live update. It is also available by setting up an Android emulator in Android studio.
Google hasn’t made much effort to make Android more tablet-friendly since the old version of Android Honeycomb ten years ago. With Samsung’s foldables starting to gain momentum, now seems like the perfect time to improve on that record.