Google has announced that the first beta of its Android 12L upgrade, which is aimed to improve the experience on tablets and large folding phones, will be released today. While Beta 1 appears to be aimed mostly at developers, it could be an opportunity to see what Google is working on in a more polished form than the developer preview.
Google is introducing a two-column style for devices with larger screens in Android 12L, allowing you to see more information at once. Your quick settings and notifications, for example, can be shown side by side. Google is also attempting to improve multitasking by allowing you to move an app from the taskbar into a split-screen mode (which you can also use to quickly switch between apps).
If you have a Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, Google claims you should be able to run the beta on a real large-screen device, just like the developer preview, albeit the beta won’t be available until “a later date.” If you don’t have one or don’t want to wait, you can run the 12L beta in an emulator to get a feel for how it will look when it becomes more widely available.
You’ll be able to install 12L on any “compatible Pixel device,” which presently includes the Pixel 3A through the Pixel 5A, but you won’t be able to test out the large screen UI. You can enrol your Pixel here if you truly want to be on the cutting edge, or if you’re testing out apps that leverage 12L’s new APIs. Keep in mind that it’s probably a little rough around the edges as a first beta.