Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft are the first device manufacturers to commit to shipping Android 12L, the new version of Android designed to be better optimized for tablets and foldable devices. Google’s VP of engineering for Android, Andrei Popescu, announced the news in a blog post, saying that 12L would ship to devices from the three companies later this year.
Lenovo isn’t a surprise, since its P12 Pro tablet can already run a beta version of Android 12L. It’s not clear exactly which devices from the other two companies will get the update — presumably Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is one of them, while any number of Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets or Z Fold phones could potentially benefit from the new software.
Android 12L’s new notification shade.
Android 12L has various features designed to make better use of bigger screens. There’s a new notification shade that separates quick tiles and notifications into separate columns, a two-column layout for settings and the setup process, and a taskbar that lets you select apps to run side-by-side.
You can see how the taskbar works below:
12L is a dedicated new version of Android that will only come to certain tablets and foldable devices, but it sounds like future mainline Android releases will include its UI improvements. “We’ll continue to build more features and functionalities to help you make the most of your larger screen devices in Android 13 and beyond,” Popescu writes.