In what’s being called a “feature drop”, Google’s started rolling out a new version of Android, called Android 12L for the Pixel series. The updated version of Android 12 will be heading to other devices later this year.
When Google first announced it was planning to release Android 12L, it explained the software release would focus on optimising Android for foldables and tablets. Google has stuck to that promise, and Android 12L delivers.
In terms of minor improvements across the board, Google has added some new animations. These include when unlocking the device with an in-display fingerprint reader, and when updating your wallpaper.
Other improvements include a new option for the lockscreen clock, a new wallpaper selector, and some new options in the Quick Settings menu. See, we told you there wasn’t much!
As for foldable devices, Android 12L really focuses on optimising the software on these screens. Google refined the Android UI to look better on large displays, so it delivers the best Android experience possible.
New features include a taskbar for frequently used apps and better multitasking, and a larger Recents screen to show you more context. The Settings app also receives a small update, so it’s more suitable for landscape orientation.
It’s interesting that Google has chosen to release Android 12L for the Pixel line-up first. While the company promises the fastest updates to Pixel devices, there are no foldables in the range. The update is coming to other manufacturers’ foldable devices next, but it’s odd they weren’t a priority.
Android 12L is currently rolling out for Pixel phones, from the Pixel 3a to the Pixel 5a. Unfortunately, the update is only coming to the Pixel 6 line-up later in March. Android 12L is releasing on Samsung, Lenovo, and Windows foldables at an unspecified date later this year.