Google Has Finished Android 12L Development

Posted on March 7, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 7 Comments

Google announced today that it will ship Android 12L to Lenovo, Microsoft, and Samsung tablets and foldables later this year. I guess that means that it completed the development of this update.

“Today we’re introducing 12L, an update to Android 12 with features that will make tablets and foldables simpler and easier to use,” Google vice president Andrei Popescu writes in the announcement post.

That statement perhaps clarifies what 12L is: I assumed it was a fork of Android specifically for tablets and foldables (similar to iPadOS), but it appears that it is simply a collection of updates that will make Android 12 better on those types of devices. So Android 13 will simply include these (and other) changes natively as well. (Elsewhere, Google describes 12L as a “feature drop.”)

The big news here, I guess, is which devices will receive this update. Here, the news is vague, given that Google only revealed a few hardware maker names and not specific models. We can assume, for example, that the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 will get it, but it’s not clear if OG Duos will.

Anyway, key changes in 12L include:

Improved layouts. Interfaces like the home screen, lock screen, notification shade, device set-up screens, settings, and more have been updated with new layouts that take better advantage of the on-screen real estate. “We heard from you that the most common reason for swiping down to your notification shade is to check and clear your notifications,” Popescu writes. “On 12L, we moved notifications and quick tiles to their own dedicated columns to give you more space to view and swipe away your notifications.”

New taskbar. 12L also adds a taskbar so that you can launch and switch between apps, and drag-and-drop any app from the taskbar to enter split-screen mode.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Google Has Finished Android 12L Development”

  1. jaredthegeek

    Honestly, it doesn't matter how good it is if the only way to get it is with a brand new tablet. Update support on Android tablets is atrocious and worse than on phones.

    • digiguy

      Except on recent Samsung tablets, especially flagships ones. The S8 lite will get until Android 16, plus one additional year of security. Other than that Android 12 is available on the Tab S7 from 2020 (which will get 13 too) and Tab S6 fom 2019.

  2. bsobotta

    Wonder if the Nokia T20 will be getting it? They run Android One devices, what ever that means say this point.

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