Google has revealed Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft plan to update foldable phones and tablets with the Android 12L operating system when it launches later this year.
In a blog post, Google has revealed the trio of manufacturers will be adopting the tweaked Android OS, which has several features optimised for displays larger than standard smartphones.
That means the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Fold Z and Microsoft Surface Duo series would be among the first in line for the update, as well as a potential Google-made Pixel Fold device rumoured for 2022.
Google announced Android 12L in October 2021, and it’s currently available as a developer beta. The changes revealed so far are designed to make the devices better for productivity and viewing content. Among those UI changes, Google promises a new notifications shade which splits the screen between those alerts and the Quick Setting panel, which you can see below.
“In 12L, we moved notifications and quick tiles to their own dedicated columns to give you more space to view and swipe away your notifications,” Google said in the blog post on Monday.
These optimisations involving the two-column layout will also run across the Home Screen, Lock Screen, device set-up screens and much more.
“When setting up a new device, you’ll also be able to see more information with a two-column layout. And, you’ll be able to make changes to features in your Settings without having to go in and out of each section. Let’s say you’re looking to change the wallpaper on your device — select “Wallpaper & style” from the navigation panel and make your pick on the side, all in one view,” Google writes.
Elsewhere, Google is also revealing a little more about the taskbar that’ll arrive within Android 12L, which will make it easier to multitask and also to drag and drop apps from the taskbar to enter split-screen mode.
Google says: “You can watch a YouTube video while you scan the news, or search for accommodations for an upcoming trip in a Chrome browser while you view its location in Google Maps.”
Google isn’t saying exactly when the 12L update will launch, but we can expect to hear more at the company’s Google I/O event in May.