Google launches the first beta of Android 12L for large-screen devices

ByDavid M. Conte

Dec 8, 2021

Google has announced that its Android 12L update – the one designed to give its operating system a better experience on tablets and large foldable phones – is releasing its first beta today. While Beta 1 still seems very developer-oriented, it might be a chance to see what Google is working on in a (slightly) more polished state than the Developer Preview.

With Android 12L, Google is adding a two-column layout for devices with larger screens, which will allow you to get more information at once. For example, your quick settings and notifications might appear side by side. Google is also working on improving multitasking, allowing you to drag an app in split-screen mode from the taskbar (which you can also use to quickly switch between apps).

Google says 12L should make multitasking easier.
GIF: Google

As with the developer preview, Google says you should be able to run the beta on a true large-screen device if you own a Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, although it says the beta will only be available “at a later date.” later date”. “If you don’t have one lying around or don’t feel like waiting around, you can also run Beta 12L in an emulator to get a feel for how it will look when it becomes more widely available.

Google also says you’ll be able to install 12L on your “supported Pixel device,” a list that currently includes the Pixel 3A through the Pixel 5A, although you can’t test the large-screen UI. If you really want to be on the cutting edge, or if you’re testing apps that use 12L’s new APIs, you can register your Pixel here. Keep in mind that as a first beta it’s probably a bit rough around the edges.