Google has announced to launch Android 12L update for devices with large screens like tablets, Chromebooks and foldable devices. For those who are still confused, “L” stands for “large screens”. Google has already announced that this OS will be soon available on Lenovo’s Tab P12 Pro, followed by Pixel devices. Although, many features will not appear on small screen smartphones, but Android 12L will be available for these smartphones as well.
Google has already revealed a few features and API changes that will roll out to all devices. As per a report by XDA Developers, these features include the “quick wallpaper picker” option in the AOSP Launcher, Nearby calling for Pixel and Nest devices, dynamic themes in AOSP and Material You colours in the boot animation. The update might also bring back volume controls for casting.
According to Esper, smartphone manufacturers will be able to override the preferred orientations requested by apps. These apps will benefit foldable smartphones but they might also be available for use in other form factors.
Notably, Google is also planning different implementations of the spatial audio, so that apps can recognise if the current device supports spatial audio or not. The new update will also support screen-to-head tracking so if the headphones have their own accelerometer and gyroscope, “they can report your current head position to Android for more immersive audio”. As per the report, Android 12L will support three head tracking modes: static (no head tracking), world-relative (no screen tracking), and screen-relative (full screen-to-head tracking).
The current VoiceInteractionSession API can take screenshots of the screen and analyse it via OCR. It is expected that the assistant app can use this data to track users’ activities and provide suggestions. A new Google Assistant that powers Pixel 4 and up can make use of this capability.
Top features of Android 12L include improved UI performance on large screens across notifications, quick settings, lockscreen, overview, home screen, and more. System apps are also optimized in 12L.
Google has also made multitasking more intuitive with 12L. It has added a new taskbar on large screens that will allow users to instantly switch to favorite apps on the fly. Not just that, the taskbar also makes split-screen mode much more discoverable than ever. Users will just need to drag-and-drop from the taskbar to run an app in split-screen mode.