Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 showing open screen display.

Google held its Android Dev Summit, and the company announced a modified version of its mobile OS called Android 12L, which is designed to tweak the core Android experience to work better on large-screen and foldable devices.

What’s Different in Android 12L?

Basically, Google is looking at what large-screen devices such as the popular foldable phones bring to the table and making Android 12L work with them more smoothly. The new version of Android 12 also plays nice with tablets and devices that run ChromeOS.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Android 12L is the introduction of a taskbar. With it, you’ll be able to quickly switch between apps, much like you would on a desktop computer. You can drag an app from the taskbar to open it in split-screen mode. Interestingly, Google says this mode will work whether apps are resizable or not.

Android 12L taskbar

Android 12L optimizes the layout of a device’s interface to make it more usable with a bigger screen. For example, it changes the location of the home screen, lock screen, notifications, Quick Settings, and other key aspects of the phone.

Google announced that devices with 600 density-independent pixels (dp) and above would get a new two-column layout that takes up the whole screen.

Lastly, Google is adding improved letterboxing, which will make apps look better on the big screen. It won’t reinvent how you interact with your phone like some of the other changes, but it will make it a more pleasant-looking experience.

RELATED: What Is Android 12L?

When Will Android 12L Launch?

Google says that Android 12L will launch in 2022, but you can actually play around with it right now if you’re so inclined. You can head to its developer preview page and then download the 12L emulator to get a sample for yourself.

Supposedly, Google has foldable phones in the works, though the company didn’t announce them alongside the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, so it makes sense that it would want to make Android more foldable-friendly.

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Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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