The new Android 12L marks a new focus on larger screen devices.
Google’s Android Dev Summit 2021 started this week, with a focus on helping developers to build better apps across devices.
The Android team is expanding its collection of development tools by bringing Material You to Jetpack Compose. Moreover, Jetpack itself is now sporting new features that developers have been demanding for some time.
The company also announced Android 12L which is specifically targeted towards tablets, Chromebooks, and foldables. It includes features that would make using those larger displays easier and more efficient.
This is not a new version of Android. Instead, this is like a new feature drop for Android 12 itself. In other words, there won’t be Android 12 devices and Android 12L devices — they’ll all be Android 12. But Google is calling this new feature drop by a unique name to signify the importance of the update.
The new 12L is an OS designed for large screens
A new operating system optimization feature for Android 12 called 12L. It is designed specifically for large screens, according to Google.
The enhancements included with Android 12 include UI changes that allow large screens (those above 600dp), to take advantage of a new two-column layout. This includes the notification shade, lockscreen and other system surfaces. System apps have also been optimized.
In 12L there is also a new taskbar that allows users to instantly switch between apps on the fly. It makes split-screen mode more accessible than ever, since users need only drag and drop from the taskbar to run apps in split-screen mode.
Google plans to launch 12L early next year in step with the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldables. Developers can try out the new features today as part of the 12L developer preview.