Today’s a big deal for Google, as the company not only released the March 2022 Security Bulletin but there’s a new Pixel Feature Drop available. But perhaps even more importantly, the latest software release coming to Pixel phones is actually based on Android 12L.
Android 12L was announced in October of last year and is designed to focus more on the Android experience on foldable phones and tablets. However, instead of releasing an entirely different version of the software, Android 12L works on all phones, regardless of whether it’s the Pixel 5 or the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
In the announcement post, Google details some of the major changes that are coming to larger-screened devices with Android 12L. This includes an all-new taskbar at the bottom of the screen designed to make it easier to switch between apps. Google also says that you’ll be able to “drag-and-drop any app from the taskbar to enter split-screen mode so you can do two things at once.”
In an effort to make better use of the larger screen real estate, Android 12L implements a new design for the notification shade using two columns. When you swipe down to reveal the notifications, the Quick Settings toggles are found on the left, while all of your pending notifications will be listed on the right.
This split-pane approach will also come to the Settings app on Android 12L devices, as you’ll be able to see the different categories in a sidebar on the left while interacting with the different settings toggles and options on the right. It’s not that much different from what you see on something like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or one of Samsung’s latest Galaxy tablets.
If you own a Pixel device between the Pixel 3a and Pixel 5a (5G), you’ll be receiving the update to Android 12L starting today. However, those on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will have to wait until later this month before the update is made available. Google also confirmed that it has worked with Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft to bring Android 12L “to your favorite tablets and foldables”. Google also teased everyone that more tablet-friendly changes could be seen after Android 13 is officially released later this year.