Android 12L Stable Update Is Here: Will The OS Grow Beyond Microsoft Duo Series?

Android 12L Finally Arrives: Will The OS Grow Beyond Microsoft Duo?

Google has rolled out Android 12L for the Microsoft Surface Duo and the Surface Duo 2. The operating system is intended for devices that have a larger display. Interestingly, the update includes Windows 11 backgrounds, and Microsoft claims the newly added desktop backgrounds will "bring the vibrancy of Windows to Android." Although intended for Microsoft Surface Duo devices, Android 12L could be extended to tablets and other devices with multiple form factors.


Microsoft Surface Duo and the Surface Duo 2 Get Android 12L

As the name suggests, Android 12L goes beyond Android 12. It is a modified version of the OS that's optimized for devices with large screens. Microsoft Surface Duo and the Surface Duo 2 are the first devices, with independent screens, to get a stable version of Android 12L.

Microsoft Surface Duo series is unique because there's no single large display within the devices. As these devices are opened, users are presented with two distinct screens. In its current iteration, Android 12L is optimized to take advantage of this arrangement.

The update unifies Surface Duo's "Quick Settings" and "System Settings". This suggests Google and Microsoft are working together to develop a new ecosystem wherein Android and Windows 11 users have a common ground.

Will Android 12L Be Adopted For Other Large Screen Devices?

Google has offered Windows 11 desktop backgrounds with this edition of Android 12L. Microsoft claims, "Android 12L provides a more personalized, responsive and inclusive experience with a refreshed UI that dynamically adapts to a customer's wallpaper, feels more responsive to touch with fluid animations, and comes with additional tools for accessibility".


With Android 12L, users will be able to extend their desktop computer, suggests Microsoft. The OS ships with "unified iconography, colors, and UI controls." Needless to add, these icons, themes, and UI elements are in sync with the Windows 11 ecosystem.

Such developments, features, and even the themes and settings might suggest Android 12L could be exclusive to the Microsoft Surface Duo series of devices. However, Google could easily continue developing Android 12L for other devices that reveal a larger display when unfolded. In fact, several Android tablets seem to run on an OS that was built for a smartphone and later adopted for the large screen.

Android 12L could easily be an operating system dedicated to multi-form-factor devices and tablets. However, smartphone manufacturers tend to apply their own custom skins on the base Android OS. This could complicate matters as Android 12L's customizations may clash with these custom layers.

Smartphones have been getting new form factors. They are no longer just slabs of glass and metal or plastic. Google has been trying to optimize Android for devices that have the form factor of a standard smartphone but fold out to reveal a tablet-sized screen. However, Google may need to collaborate with smartphone manufacturers closely to finetune the OS, just like it did with Microsoft. Incidentally, select Samsung tablets and Galaxy Fold series devices have received Android 12L. This proves that Google is willing to extend the OS to other manufacturers.

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