Android tablets and foldables are currently selling like hotcakes. Time for Google to do some work on the Android user experience on devices with larger displays. It’s been clear for a long time that it’s not too good. Thus was born Android 12L, first announced last October. A few beta builds followed that initial reveal and now the finished product is finally here.
Android 12L’s optimizations for larger displays include dedicated columns for notifications and tiles – the former on the right, the latter on the left. With this change, you have “more space to view and swipe your notifications,” according to Google.
Google split the settings menu into two columns by default, which many manufacturers had already implemented in their own interfaces. Still, it’s good to see that it’s finally part of Stock Android too. The biggest innovation in Android 12L is the new taskbar. It saves app shortcuts for faster multitasking and stays on top all the time.
You can drag any app from the taskbar to switch to split-screen mode. As usual, the status bar at the top edge shows the time, notification and connection symbols, and the battery capacity.
According to Google, Android 12L “is set to come to your favorite tablets and foldables with planned updates from Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft.” “Later this year” is cited as the timeframe, which can mean literally anything. Hopefully, the three companies in Google’s announcement will offer a less vague timeframe.