The big screen Android experience has always left a lot to desire. Poor user experience and lack of apps optimized for large displays were among the main reasons why Android tablets didn’t take off. But then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, and tablet sales increased. Google realized that the Android experience was behind the competition and decided to do something about it.
After the release of Android 12 in 2021, the company announced Android 12L. Drop promised to improve the operating system for the best Android tablets and foldable devices. So, what is Android 12L, how is it different from regular Android 12, and how do you install the big screen OS?
How is Android 12L different from Android 12?
Android 12L is the first tablet operating system with better support for multitasking, redesigned widgets, and other improvements that take advantage of the extra screen space. Its main goal is to make multitasking easier on Android devices with large screens by introducing the taskbar.
Android 12L is designed for tablets and foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and tablets like the Galaxy Tab S8, while Android 12 is optimized for smartphones. This also means that your Android phone will not receive the Android 12L update. Instead, it will go straight to Android 13.
Changes to notifications on tablets and foldable phones
Wide screen devices will have two Separate columns in the notification center. On the left, you’ll find the quick settings drawer, and you’ll see the notification shade on the left. Previously, the notification shade was a single column and was similar to what you might find on a phone. The split notification shade is logical vertically on a wide screen display.
Android 12L adds a taskbar to facilitate multitasking. The feature is enabled by default on tablets and foldable devices. If you want to use it on your Pixel phone, you will need to enable it in the developer options. The taskbar, located at the bottom of the screen, allows you to quickly launch applications in split-screen or multitasking mode. You can also use the taskbar to quickly switch between open applications.
Android 12L is more than a simple OS fix. he adds adaptive design, a feature that allows you to view apps side by side instead of loading a new page. The Settings app is a perfect example of adaptive design in action. In it, the basic fields appear in the left half of the screen. When you click on a setting, you will see additional options unfold on the right side of the screen.
The lock screen in Android 12L lets you stop entering the security pattern on one side instead of scaling it across the screen as it would on a phone – which is great if you’re using a large tablet in landscape mode and can’t immediately put it down to enter a pattern or passcode in the middle the screen.
Streamlined application compatibility
Application compatibility A huge leap forward in Android 12L. Apps no longer stretch and expand to fill the screen. Instead, Android 12L has a compatibility mode for older smartphone apps. Compatibility mode runs any unoptimized app in a framed view, with an aspect ratio the app can handle, giving users a solid compromise when an app isn’t performing well.
Android 12L also enforces resizing of all apps and expands multitasking support for apps that didn’t allow this before (Instagram is a popular app that doesn’t work well with multitasking in windows or split screen).
Home screen adjustments
Android 12L too Adjusts the home screen to take advantage of bulky tablets and foldable screens. Denser icon grids (which has been an option in many custom Android ROMs and manufacturer skins) are available on the Android 12L home screen. This means that you can modify the number of icons that should appear on the screen, and perhaps most importantly, the number of widgets that you can place on the home screen.
What devices support Android 12L?
Google rolled out Android 12L on its Pixel devices as part of the March 2022 Feature Drop. Android tablets and foldables from the likes of Lenovo, Microsoft, and Samsung will also receive the update if they haven’t already.
Samsung is so far leading the way in rolling out the update. It made One UI 4.1.1 based on Android 12L available for the Galaxy Tab S8 lineup, Tab S7 series and previous generation foldable devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Fold 2 and the original Galaxy Fold. Samsung has made its own tweaks to the taskbar. It displays up to eight apps, and you can save a pair of apps to open them directly in split screen view.
Except for the Pixels, other Android phones will not receive the Android 12L update because the version is only for foldable devices and tablets.
How do I install Android 12L?
Google launched the Android 12L update for Pixel devices in March 2022. Since then, the company has continued to roll out another Android 13 Drop feature and update. So, if your Pixel phone is still supported by the Big G, it’s already running Android 13.
On Samsung tablets and foldable devices, go to Settings > system update > Download and install. Your Galaxy device automatically checks for and downloads the latest available update.
Android 12L is different from Android 13. The latter is a regular version of Android that all devices, including tablets and foldables, will get. It will also include all the changes that are part of Android 12L.
Apps optimized for Android 12L and big screen help grow the ecosystem
Along with Android 12L, Google has focused on optimizing its apps for the big screen. It’s updated more than 20 Google apps with table-focused improvements, including support for drag-and-drop and two-pane views of Google Drive apps for better multitasking. The list of best Android apps optimized for tablets only grew in 2022 so the experience you get now on an Android tablet will be vastly superior compared to the past few years.
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