Android 12L Beta 2 includes animations for a folding Google phone
Google released the second beta of Android 12L yesterday, which allows anyone with a recent Pixel phone (or the Android Studio emulator) to try out the post-Android 12 system update. The release has a notable additions, like a Picture-in-Picture split-screen shortcut, a new clock option, and more. Android 12L Beta 2 also contains an animation that could (emphasis on could) resemble an upcoming folding Pixel phone.
9to5Google discovered animations in Android 12L Beta 2 intended for the SIM setup screen that depict a larger folding phone, as opposed to the usual single-display phone. The mockup device is a Galaxy Z Fold-style device that opens like a book, with a volume rocker on the lower right side and a SIM card slot on the bottom. 9to5Google notes that these animations were added sometime between the release of Android 12L Beta 1 and Beta 2, and that there are references to the “Pipit” codename (which is linked to the in-development folding Pixel).
These animations should be taken with a heavy dose of skepticism, though. Google reportedly cancelled production of the folding Pixel phone back in November, so even though these animations are new, they could be based on a hardware design that has already changed.
Historically, device mockups in the Android operating system are also not a great source of information about upcoming devices. Android P Developer Preview 2 included an animation of a bezel-less phone in the Settings app to show off gesture navigation, and some jumped to conclusions and believed it was an unintentional leak of the Pixel 3. These new folding animations are a slightly different story, considering they aren’t actually visible in the operating system, but you still shouldn’t get excited quite yet.
If the aspect ratio of the animated device is close to the actual folding Pixel phone (assuming that phone will actually exist at some point), it could mean the phone will have a wider screen when unfolded than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 — giving it more of an Oppo Find N design than Samsung’s square-like inner Fold screen.