15 April 2022
Google has officially released Android 12L for eligible Pixel devices. This is an Android version with features specifically meant for large-screen devices like foldables and tablets. It was first announced in October last year and was under beta testing since then. The latest release means that the operating system is now ready for prime time.
Since Android 12L is meant for bigger screens, Google has made slight changes to the home screen, lock screen, notification shade, device set-up screens, and settings among others. This has been done to better utilize the extra real estate that a tablet or a foldable has to offer. For example, the new version shows quick settings and notifications/alerts in a split-screen interface.
The settings interface has been improved so that users do not have to go back and forth among different sections. This is similar to how the settings UI works on Apple iPad. This makes it a lot more convenient to access settings, especially if you are not sure about where to find a particular setting.
The team has added a taskbar to the bottom of the screen where users can pin their favorite or commonly used apps. They can then tap on a particular app to launch them quickly. The users can also drag and drop any app from the taskbar to the main home screen and enter the split-screen mode.
Android 12L is currently available for all eligible Pixel smartphones except for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. These two phones will receive the update by the end of this month. Google has further added that it has partnered with Samsung, Microsoft, and Lenovo for bringing the new version to tablets and foldable by year-end.