|Android 12 For Tablets Gets Closer|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Friday, 04 February 2022|
Google is increasing its support for using Android on tablets and foldable devices, with an imminent update to the developer preview of Android 12 along with moves to create an Android Tablet group within Google.
Android 12L is already available as a developer preview, with the final release due this quarter ready for "the next wave of Android 12 tablets, Chromebooks, and foldables". The current developer preview is already available for Pixel, the Android Emulator, or "an eligible device from our device-maker partners."
12L refines the system UI to "make it more beautiful and easier to use on large screens—across notifications, quick settings, lockscreen, overview, the home screen, and more."
On large screens, Android 12L uses a two-column layout for notifications and system apps like Settings. For foldables, 12L has an optimized home screen grid, and the fold-unfold move has been worked on so that users move seamlessly from a single exterior screen to the larger unfolded screen. 12L also has features to cater for 12L multitasking, including a new taskbar for launching and switching apps on the fly.
The latest beta is due in the next couple of weeks, with improvements including the ability to compile apps against the official API 32 SDK, and giving developers the means to start final compatibility testing for apps, SDKs, and libraries.
Alongside the latest beta, Google is putting in place developers and engineers to work on Android Tablet. Recent ads on Google's careers portal have listed a variety of roles working on Android Tablets. An ad for a Senior Engineering Manager, Android Tablet App Experience, said:
"We believe that the future of computing is shifting towards more powerful and capable tablets. We are working to deliver the next chapter of computing and input by launching seamless support across our platforms and hero experiences"
Other ads for a Vice President of Product Management for Android Tablets, and for a Director of the same group, mentioned the need to "Grow and develop a high performing product team", to "partner with leads across Android, Platforms and Ecosystems, and cross-product area teams", and to "work closely and collaboratively with OEMs manufacturing Android Tablets and the developers building apps for them."
Of course, Google has a track record of starting exciting new projects only to close them with not much notice, but for the moment it looks like they're putting their might behind tablets.
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