David Imel / Android Authority
- Android 12L is rolling out to a selection of Pixel phones today.
- It will eventually make its way to products from Samsung, Microsoft, and Lenovo.
- This iteration of Android 12 is optimized for larger displays.
Today, Google announced the latest Pixel feature drop. However, a bevy of new features isn’t all that’s coming to Pixels right now. Additionally, the update features the new large-screen iteration of Android 12.
Known as Android 12L, it is the first time Google’s launched a mid-cycle upgrade to Android since Android 8.1 Marshmallow. The ‘L’ moniker likely references the word ‘large,’ because this version of Android focuses on features for larger displays.
As such, Pixel smartphones won’t see too many differences. However, Google did confirm that devices from Samsung, Microsoft, and Lenovo would incorporate Android 12L, which could end up being a bigger deal.
Android 12L from these OEMs
Between Lenovo, Microsoft, and Samsung, Lenovo’s inclusion isn’t much of a surprise. A Lenovo tablet was the official testing device for betas of 12L. We expect to see the stable version of the operating system on other Lenovo tablets soon.
Samsung will likely bring Android 12L to its various high-end tablets as well as its foldable phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Meanwhile, we expect Microsoft to solely focus on its Surface Duo 2 product since it does not have an Android-based tablet on the market (at least not yet).
The most notable new feature in 12L that will be advantageous for tablet/foldable users is a new dock. Using it, you can keep up to six apps there for easier multi-tasking. There’s also a new layout for the notification shade which keeps the Quick Tiles on one side and your notifications on the other. Android’s settings pages will also split into two halves, with the settings headers on one side and the various switches and toggles on the other.
It is unclear if Android 12L will also come to smartphones outside of the Google Pixel series. We’ll need to wait and see what companies say about pushing it to their products.