Apple has two versions of iOS distinct for tablet and phone, and it appears Google could well be returning to that route shortly.
Even though there are only two major mobile operating systems, they tend to split a little differently than just thinking of iOS and Android. You’ll find iOS on the iPhone and iPad, and then Android on phones and tablets, but there’s both iOS for iPhone and iPadOS for iPad, while Android is on Android phones and tablets… but it didn’t used to be that way.
Years ago, Android was split into two versions — phone and tablet — while iOS offered the one, but times have certainly changed. These days, it’s the exact opposite, and while we doubt iOS will go back to one operating system for both purposes, it appears Google looks set to return to that approach, as well.
In the past week, the maker of Android has noted that it is launching an update to Android 12 focused on tablets called “Android 12L”.
We expect it’s probably shortened from Android 12 Large, but essentially, this “L” edition isn’t an L-plated learner edition like you might find on Australian cars, but rather a version of Android focused on bigger screens in general.
For Android, that’ll include changes to show more on bigger screens, such as dedicated columns for notifications specifically working in a two-column layout if you want, while also bringing a taskbar in, not unlike what you can find in Windows 11 and macOS, or even Chrome OS.
There will also be more support for split screen apps, with any app being able to jump into split screen provided you drag it from the taskbar, allowing you to write while you surf in Chrome, or pretty much anything else.
However there’s no word quite when Android 12L will come out, though it will likely be on Android tablets from Samsung and Lenovo to begin with, and maybe even a big Android device from Microsoft, such as its foldable phone.