Android 12L gets official launch as version 12.1
Five months after the announcement and the start of beta testing of Android 12L – a drop feature on Android 12 that aims to optimize the experience on tablets and foldable devices – an official release is on the way that will target Pixel devices first. The update has also been officially renamed to Android version 12.1. and promises features that will make tablets and foldables simpler and easier to use.
An optimized screen layout
Android 12L’s standout feature has always been how it’s optimized for larger screens. It features a two-column layout in the settings screens that will allow you to navigate between sections without having to go in and out. This same layout is also present in the home screen, lock screen, and notification shade where it separates notifications from quick tiles, giving you a dedicated column to sort and clear them.
User-friendly taskbar for multitasking
Android 12L implements a taskbar that lets you multitask using drag-and-drop to load an app on either side in split-screen mode. Chrome OS tablet users will be very familiar with this setup because it basically works the same way.
This official launch will roll out to Pixel devices first alongside the March 2022 Pixel Feature Drop, then later this year, Google also promises to bring 12L to Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft devices. For those wondering, the currently supported Pixel devices are:
- Pixel 3a and 3a XL
- Pixel 4 and 4 XL
- Pixel 4a and 4a (5G)
- Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a
- Pixel 6 and 6 Pro (coming soon)
At Chrome Unboxed, we’ve been speculating a lot about how Android 12L features might end up in Chrome OS and vice versa, creating more synergy between Android and Chromebooks and fixing some of the issues we’re currently having with Chrome OS’ tablet mode. Only time will tell in this case, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for any feature crossovers and report to you if/when we find them.