Android 12L rolling out to Google Pixel phones starting today

Android 12L rolling out to Google Pixel phones starting today

Google hasn’t released a minor update for Android in years, instead sticking to yearly major updates and fixing bugs throughout the year in the monthly security updates. However, Google is returning to that idea with the release of Android 12L, which mainly focuses on improvements for foldables and other large-screen devices. After months of beta testing, Android 12L is now rolling out to supported Pixel devices.

Android 12L introduces two-column layouts and other large-screen optimizations throughout the system and core applications, most importantly in the quick settings/notifications panel. There’s also a taskbar for large-screen devices, which functions similar to the taskbar on Chrome OS and Windows, and the dock on macOS. You can tap on apps to open them, or drag the icons to one side of the screen to open them in split-screen mode.

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Android 12L notification shade

Source: Google

Split-screen mode itself has also been updated, with a a more prominent divder line (similar to what has been available on Samsung One UI and other third-party skins for a while now). There are a handful of other helpful changes too, such as letterboxing for portrait-only apps on tablets and new gestures for notifications.

The stable version comes after several Developer Previews and Beta releases, including the first Beta in December, Beta 2 in January, and Beta 3 in February. Google already said a final release would arrive sometime after February, and other reports indicated it would show up before the end of the first quarter (which ends March 31), so this release is just in time.

Android 12L taskbar

Source: Google

Google wrote in its blog post, “starting later this year, we’ll bring 12L to your favorite tablets and foldables with planned updates from Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft. And 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.”

Download Android 12L for Google Pixel devices

Android 12L is rolling out now to most currently-supported Pixel phones (RIP Pixel 3) as the March Feature Drop. Google told 9to5Google that a release for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro would arrive “later this month.” Google also seemingly isn’t offering Generic System Image (GSI) releases for the final stable release, at least not yet.

Source: Google

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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