Android 12.1: a first look at what’s new

A stable build of Android 12 is on the way, but the company is already working on Android 12.1, which could be out before the end of this year. After a rather long period, Google returned to the idea again with the release of an intermediate version of the green robot. This is explained by the company’s desire to release special software for folding devices.

The guys at XDA Developers were able to find out the details about Android 12.1. In particular, the new version of the green robot will offer two panels in the curtain, where one displays notifications, and the other – quick settings. It will also be possible to activate the three-column mode.

Android 12.1

This setting applies to system menus as well. On a settings page, for example, the top-level menus will be displayed on the left and submenus on the right, making it easier to navigate through the settings system. The Android 12.1 lock screen will display the time and date on the left, and notifications on the right. The PIN keypad can also be moved to one of the bottom corners for easier one-handed operation.

However, perhaps the most notable change is the addition of a taskbar. Similar to Windows 11 desktop, Android 12.1 will display a list of app icons at the bottom of the foldable device’s flexible display. Users can tap these icons to open apps in full screen mode, drag them to the split screen of their choice, or quickly switch between apps. The taskbar can also be hidden by pressing and holding if desired.

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Speaking of split screens, the user interface has undergone minor changes as well. The separation between the two displays is now there with a more prominent gray bar. Plus, there are signs that Google will give users more control over the power button commands with Android 12.1. A new touch and hold sensitivity setting is available, allowing users to adjust how long the power button is held down to activate the voice assistant.

New features in Android 12.1

  • Dual pane notifications panel, Settings, and lockscreen
  • Taskbar
  • New split-screen and recent apps UI
  • Open a notification in a split-screen window
  • Open-source dynamic colors, new boot animation
  • Press & hold duration for power button
  • New wallpaper

Google has been releasing beta versions of the new Android 12 operating system for a long time; but the official premiere of the stable version of the OS has not yet happened. Also, according to the latest data, the company has already released the fifth and final “beta”; and a completely finished assembly will be available in a few weeks.

Although the official data is still missing, the well-known portal XDA-Developers announced the premiere of the new stable Android on October 4th. The source code of the Android 12 OS will be available on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP); and, probably, Google Pixel smartphones.

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