While Android already supports a sort of multi-window experience, there are still areas of the interface that feel more like a blown up version of a phone OS, rather than something that makes better use of the increased space. One of the things coming to Android 12L is a two-column layout for the notification shade and lockscreen when the system detects that the screen is above 600dps wide. Google said other system surfaces and apps will adopt this look too, though it didn’t specify which yet.
As if there wasn’t enough news this week, Google has unveiled a new version of Android optimised for bigger screens such as tablets and foldables. It’s known as Android 12L, and it’s really simply a set of additional features for the old OS that are geared for large displays. The developer preview is now accessible as an SDK on Google’s website, allowing app developers to begin incorporating some of the new capabilities, which should result in a more coherent experience on devices with larger displays. The public version of 12L will be available early next year, “just in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldables,” according to the business. The preview will also be available for the Lenovo P12 Pro “soon.”
Android 12L will also feature a taskbar at the bottom of larger screens that will let you more easily open apps. This will also simplify the process of launching things in split-screen mode: just drag and drop an icon from the taskbar. Google is also enabling all apps to run in split screen, regardless of whether they are resizable.
The above features are already available for preview in the developer software, but there are also changes coming that app creators have to apply for users to experience them. Google recommends that developers create versions of their UI tailored to the window size class of each device, and it’s added reference devices for programmers to see their layouts across phones, tablets, foldable’s larger internal displays and desktops.
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