Android 12L was revealed this week by Google, and with it, a look at the future of larger-screen Android UI. Google effectively suggested that their insight into the future of mobile devices indicates a need for more of a focus on large-screen devices. Today we’re taking a peek at what Google’s software “Android 12L” will mean for Google Pixel hardware.
The Google Pixel program is the latest iteration of Google’s work with hardware for Android. Android was developed as an open source software so that anyone could use it while Google’s efforts delivered software that worked inside the OS to allow the company to provide services for profit. With the Nexus series of smartphones, Google had a device that was meant to give developers the baseline Android experience.
Eventually the Nexus line was ended, and the Pixel series was started. The Pixel smartphone series is not as developer-focused as the Nexus line was. The Google Pixel is meant to be a consumer-facing product that can also serve the purpose the Nexus line served – as a vehicle for Google to make certain their Android smart device OS experience was ready for the real world.
Over the past few years, Google’s development of Android was joined by an Android Beta program. This program targets Pixel devices primarily, with some 3rd-party manufacturers working to involve their devices to ensure developers have access to the newest Android features on their hardware as readily as possible.
With the release of Android 12L, Google has a strange situation on their hands. They’re developing an operating system meant for big screens and transforming screens, but they do not have a Pixel smartphone on the market that really fits the whole bill.
Despite this, Google will be enabling the most recent several generations of Google Pixel smartphone in their Android Beta program with a release date of December 2021. December of 2021, January 2022, February 2022, and “Q1 2022” will each have their own releases. Beta 2 starts in January with Final APIs, February delivers Beta 3 with incremental updates, and Google is targeting Q1 in general (likely March) for Final Release.
If you have a Google Pixel 4, 4a, 4a (5G), 5, 5a with 5G, Pixel 6, or Pixel 6 Pro, you’ll be able to start in on the Android Beta program for Android 12L in March.
We are hoping this won’t result in a situation like we had back with Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Back then we were so very excited about any tiny UI change or feature update that we tried to get anything and everything working on any given Android device.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb was built for all Android devices, but had a particular focus on tablet-size screens. Google seems far more attuned to the ravenous nature of the beast here in 2021 on into 2022, so we’re holding on to hope that we won’t start seeing dual-screen madness on a Palm Phone. Crossing fingers for sanity!