In October 2021, Google let us know that there would be a new version of Android for tablets. Its name would be Android 12L and it would have a series of functions designed for mobile devices with larger screen sizes. There is no doubt that this is good news. It is an open secret that Google’s operating system has never gotten along too well with tablets. It has always been considered to offer a distant experience to Apple’s iPad both in the interface of the OS itself and in the apps. Will this change soon?
In this article, we will take you through a review of the main features of Android 12L. You may wonder if this will be the definitive push that Android needs in the tablet world. A closer look at all its new features will allow you to answer this question. Here we go!
A New, More Adaptive Design
Android 12L is a kind of segregation that comes from the original development of the operating system. In essence, this is not a new product, but it does have exclusive functions and features designed to work better on tablets. A clear example of this is the recent apps screen. In it, applications occupy more or less screen space depending on their relevance. While recently used programs are displayed almost full screen, the rest maintain a miniaturized appearance. This is seen when the device is held horizontally and vertically.
Another aspect that has been heavily revamped is the control center. On Android tablets, this space used to be rather underutilized, since it takes advantage of the mobile interface to offer its different functionalities. Now, this has changed thanks to the redesign applied in Android 12L. On the left side of the screen, the control elements are maintained, such as the wifi activator, Bluetooth, or flashlight. In addition, the upper area offers a quick view of the content being played. On the right side, the notifications are stacked, which include the usual options on Android devices.
Undoubtedly, these two examples demonstrate that the redesign that Google has applied to Android 12L to make it more friendly to large screens is effective.
Native Apps Adapt Better
Another transcendental point that Google has been improving in its new version of Android for tablets is the adaptation of native applications. Of course, this is a first step that will probably lead to the improvement of third-party programs in this regard. As can be seen in the above animation, a tool as basic as Messages looks very different depending on whether it is running on a mobile or tablet.
The changes in the interfaces will be focused on taking better advantage of the inches of each device. Of course, this is by no means a novel concept. This technique has been applied for many years on the web and is popularly known as responsive or adaptive design. This shows the extent to which the company needed to get down to work to better meet the needs of users on tablets.
Features Coming Soon to Android 12L Tablets
Up to this point, we have told you about the improvements that will be introduced in the Android interface and its applications to achieve greater adaptation with large screens. However, now it is time to focus on the new features that will make an appearance in this variant of Google’s operating system.
Windows or MacOS-Style Taskbar
The arrival of a taskbar on Android hints that this 12L version is more than a facelift. Google is thinking of bringing its mobile operating system even closer to the desktop. This is something that has already happened with iPadOS, which for some versions now has had a dock very similar to that of macOS. We have also seen it with the Samsung Dex proposal. But what will this new element offer?
Mainly, faster access to running applications. In this way, multitasking is strengthened and it is easier to switch between the different utilities in use. At the moment, in the emulator tests that have been carried out, it is not possible to place more than five applications in this section. However, we expect Google to extend this limit for the final release of Android 12L.
Drag and Drop Apps
Closely related to the above, this Android variant will have a function to drag and drop applications to the desktop. Of course, it is possible to do this from the aforementioned taskbar and the goal is to trigger the multi-window. It is as simple as moving the icon of the program in question to the right or left side of the screen so that the system docks it. If another application is already running, both will be displayed simultaneously.
New APIs and an Improved Compatibility Mode are now Available
Android 12L will also come with new APIs that will allow developers to take better advantage of all the system’s features. That’s not something the user will be able to see, but they will notice it when apps incorporate them. For example, some are intended to improve interaction from the new taskbar. Undoubtedly, the user experience will be enhanced if there is a good implementation.
It is expected that major developers will adapt their programs to Android 12L. However, it is likely that many apps will never be updated to support this new variant of the operating system. Because of this, Google has integrated an improved compatibility mode that will make it easier to run applications not adapted to tablet format.
Android 12L: For Tablets and Foldables
Android 12L is Google’s big bet to adapt its mobile operating system to large screens. It is clear that the company is thinking about tablets, but also about folding phones. At the moment, the release date of this version has not been confirmed, although there are already betas for Pixel devices.