Google releases at least one major Android update every year. The release date for Android 12 was set for 2021, but Google isn’t done with it yet. Android 12L is the next update, and it’s a little different. Allow us to elaborate.
Google used to release incremental “dot” updates all the time. (Android 4.0, 4.1, and 4.4, for example, were “dot updates.”) That hasn’t happened since Android 9, and instead of a “dot” update, Android 12 is getting a “L” update.
Android 12L Is a “Feature Drop”
Android 12L is not a typical Android update, according to Google. It’s being dubbed a “Feature Drop” by Google, similar to the Feature Drops that Pixel phones get from time to time. So, what’s the difference between the two?
A Feature Drop is aimed at specific devices that have a small number of features. It goes even further than a “dot” update in terms of incrementalness. Major Android version releases are available for all phones on the platform and can be found in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), whereas Feature Drops are typically more limited.
It’s All About Big Screens and Foldable Devices
So, which devices will get Android 12L if it’s a Feature Drop? Android 12L is designed for large-screen devices, particularly foldable devices. Android 10 included rudimentary foldable support, but Android 12L aims to vastly improve on that.
For these devices, Android 12L optimizes the user interface. Notifications, Quick Settings, the home screen, and the lock screen have all been updated to accommodate large, foldable displays. Quick Settings and notifications, for example, can be displayed in a two-column view.
Drag-and-Drop Split Screen
Multitasking on large screens is a breeze, and Android 12L improves on that front as well. You can drag an app icon from the taskbar—also new in Android 12L—to one side of the screen to put it in split-screen mode, similar to Snap-on Windows.
One of the most common complaints about Android apps is how they appear on devices with unusual screen sizes, such as foldables. “Letterboxing,” or black bars on the sides or top and bottom, is a common sight.
Device manufacturers can customize the look of Android 12L. They can alter the size, shape, and color of the object, as well as round the corners and adjust the position.
Simply put, Google recognizes the future of foldable displays and large-screen devices. To better support these new form factors, Android 12L is a much-needed interface update.
In its official Android 12L blog post, Google didn’t say much about Adaptive UI. However, there is a lot more information about it here.
Developers have long been encouraged to create UIs that work on a wide range of screens, and Android 12L extends that encouragement to include screens of various sizes, shapes, and folding capabilities.
Other Potential Changes
Other features of Android 12L are hidden from view, and some of them may make it to phones at some point. As an example, this tweet below shows a quick wallpaper picker that may or may not be present in the final version.
AOSP Launcher3 from Android 12L DP1 has a “quick wallpaper picker” developer flag that, when enabled, lets you quickly switch between wallpapers from the context menu on the home screen. pic.twitter.com/kjIAa2rtYj
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) October 27, 2021
Improvements to activity embedding, for example, should result in smoother animations and a more responsive user interface. In the GIF above, you can see an example of this.
Well, that’s all we know so far about Android 12L. We hope this guide helped you.
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