After releasing Android 12, Google has announced a preview of Android 12L, which may sound like a new version of Android, but Google calls it “a special feature drop that makes Android 12 even better on large screens”.
The idea here is to provide users on tablets, foldables and Chrome OS laptops — anything with a screen above 600 dp — with an improved user interface.
“In 12L we have refined the UI to make Android more beautiful and easier to use on screens larger than 600sp across notifications, quick settings, lockscreen, overview, home screen, and more. Try your app with the UI updates,” the company said in a blogpost.
The developer preview of Android 12L is now available for developers who want to give it a try, as well as a new Android 12L emulator and support for it in Android Studio.
Google plans to release 12L early next year, “in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldable”.
In addition to Android 12L, Google also announced new features in OS and Play for developers to better support these devices, reports TechCrunch.
These include updates to its Material Design guidance for large-screen devices, but also updates to Jetpack Compose to make it easier to build for these machines and to ensure that apps can more easily adapt to various screen orientations and sizes.
Android Studio is also getting a resizable emulator to help developers test their apps on a wider variety of screen sizes and a new visual linting tool to surface UI warnings and suggestions when the layout has issues.
As for Google Play, the company will now check apps against its large screen app quality guidelines and its search rankings will take the results of this into account.
“For apps that are not optimised for large screens, we’ll start warning large screen users with a notice on the app’s Play Store listing page,” the tech giant said.