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Android 12L released for Pixel phones; Pixel 6 series gets feature drop

Highlights

  • Android 12L has been released for the Pixel lineup
  • Google has also rolled out the latest Feature Drop for Pixel phones
  • Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft have confirmed to ship Android 12L devices

Android 12L has been released for Google Pixel phones. Google says Android 12L has been designed primarily for devices with larger displays, such as tablets and foldable smartphones. The company mentioned in a blog post that the new software update will make tablets and foldable devices simpler and easier to use.

Also Read: Google aims to curtail ad tracking on Android devices with Privacy Sandbox

The Android 12L upgrade is now available for Pixel phones as a part of the quarterly Pixel Feature Drop. Google has also confirmed that Android 12L would be available on devices from three major manufacturers later this year.

Android 12L: New features

Android 12L notification shade

Android 12L’s two-column layout

The Android 12L is an incremental update that delivers an optimised experience on devices with larger displays. It adds two-column layouts, which show quick tiles on the left and notifications on the right. According to Google, the dedicated columns provide users with more space to view and swipe away notifications.

Android 12L Settings page

Android 12L Settings page

The two-column layout lets users see more information while setting up a new device. Users can make desired changes in Settings without going in and out of each section. The left column will show the different sections in Settings such as Sounds & Vibrations, Display, Wallpaper & Style, and so on. Tapping on each section will show more details on the right pane.

One of the biggest features to arrive on Android 12L is the new taskbar. It can show icons of those apps that can be accessed quickly for multi-tasking. It also lets users drag and drop any taskbar app to enter split-screen mode, which divides the screen into two parts for each app.

Android 12L: eligible devices

Google has confirmed that Android 12L will be coming to the following Pixel phones:

  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a
  • Pixel 4a 5G
  • Pixel 5
  • Pixel 5a
  • Pixel 6
  • Pixel 6 Pro

The Android 12L update is part of the quarterly Feature Drop for Pixel devices. It is being rolled out for all Pixel phones except the Pixel 6 series, which will receive it later this month. In its blog post, Google said, “Starting later this year, we’ll bring 12L to your favourite tablets and foldables with planned updates from Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft. And we’ll continue to build more features and functionalities to help you make the most of your larger screen devices in Android 13 and beyond.”

Samsung Galaxy tablets, Z Fold series, and Microsoft Duo 2 are some of the devices that are expected to receive the Android 12L update.

Pixel Feature Drop: here’s what the latest update offers

Apart from releasing the Android 12L software update, Google has also rolled out the quarterly Pixel Feature Drop. The update brings support for the Night Sight feature in Snapchat, which allow users to capture clearer pictures and videos in low-light conditions. Live Caption for calls will show captions of what the other person is saying during a phone call. It will let the user type replies, which will be read out to the other person.

The most recent Gboard update can turn typed words into colourful stickers. To express in a better way, Gboard can also offer emoji, emoji kitchen, and custom sticker suggestions while typing a message. Starting today, these Gboard features are available to Pixel users globally, typing in English (US).

Live Translate’s Interpreter mode has picked up support for more languages. On the phone, it can now translate face-to-face conversations in languages such as French, Italian, and Spanish. The translation data remains on the device. To access the feature, a user can call out, “Hey Google, be my Spanish (or Italian / French) interpreter.”

Furthermore, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro can detect and translate videos and other media in Spanish into supported languages such as English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese (beta).

The feature drop for Pixel also brings a new battery widget that not only shows the battery status in detail but also the battery levels of Bluetooth-connected devices like Pixel Buds. Pixel phone users can now host YouTube watch parties or share a favourite app with live sharing for Duo. The March 2022 Pixel Feature Drop is rolling out to all Pixel models, from Pixel 3a to Pixel 5a (5G). The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will receive it later this month.

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Anvinraj Valiyathara

Anvinraj has been writing about smartphones and other gadgets for over 10 years, with 10,000+ articles published to date. He owns a POCO X3 Pro and Realme X7 Max 5G. His interests include exploring new places, reading, photography, and church activities. At Pricebaba, he covers breaking news and features.