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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Android 12L beta 2 goes live for Google Pixel phones

Android 12 arrived in October and soon Android 12L came with Developer Preview. Android 12L is a feature-drop update specially designed to bring several optimizations and improvements for foldable and large screen devices. Before the full release of Android 12, we talked about the Android 12.1 update in September this year. At the time, we learned that the update would bring a slew of new features to the foldable device, including a notification shade, dual-paned UI for the settings and lockscreen, a dedicated taskbar, and more. We saw the first Android 12L beta coming to Google Pixel phones, and now we’re on our second.

Here are all the new features and UI changes in Android 12L

In its current state, there isn’t much that can be tested on regular smartphones with regards to Android 12L. It doesn’t really do much other than adjust the layout of multiple system interfaces to take advantage of larger displays with screen widths of over 600dp, which means you’ll need a tablet to view them. There are also some features that take advantage of the larger display that pertain to the likes of multi-tasking.

Android 12L Beta 2 Changelog

From the changelog, this would appear to be a relatively minor bug fix upgrade. These are quite significant though, and are a step towards the final release we expect to come out sometime in March. There’s also the possibility of other small feature introductions, though we’ll have to install the update ourselves and find out what’s added. It also comes with the latest January 2022 security patch.

This update is especially important for developers, as Google says that from beta 2 onwards, system behavior and APIs have been finalized.

“Starting with beta 2, system behavior and APIs are finalized. It is time to begin the final testing and development work that is needed to ensure that a compatible version of your app is going to receive this update.” Will be ready for users.At this time the 12L will have a standard API level (API level 32).

With the final API, it’s also time to focus on final compatibility testing and release your updated apps for users and downstream developers. You can also build with the final API and refine any code that is using the new API or features.”

Developer reported issues

  • Fixed an issue where the lock screen’s clock was not centered on the screen. (issue #209866500)
  • Fixed an issue where all recent apps in the Recent Apps view are shown as a black image with an “App not available” toast message. (issue #210442689)
  • Fixed an issue sometimes involving using gestures to switch between apps, causing an image of the previous app’s status to appear on part of the current app. (Issue #211095552)
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Other resolved issues

  • Fixed an issue with some icons on the lock screen being too small when viewed on a larger screen.
  • Fixed an issue where the lock screen would sometimes not dismiss after unlocking a device.
  • Fixed an issue causing bitmap images to disappear or otherwise render incorrectly in widgets.

Download Android 12 Beta 2 for Google Pixel Devices

There’s still no sign of Android 12L beta for the Google Pixel 6 series, though Google says it’s “coming soon”. Given the lack of updates for that device series with the Android 12 update right now, it’s possible we’ll wait a while. Notably, the Lenovo P12 Pro also hasn’t received any updates yet.

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For those who don’t like the manual installation route, you can install beta builds using Android Flash Tool. The web-based installer comes with a handy GUI-based wizard that greatly simplifies the flashing process. You can also enroll your Pixel in beta to get OTA updates on your device

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