The first version of Android 12.1 shows foldable optimizations

The first version of Android 12.1 shows foldable optimizations

XDA developers has published an in-depth review of an early version of Android 12.1 that details many of the optimizations Google made for foldable phones. The mid-cycle update to Android 12 is codenamed "Snowcone v2" and considering how Android 12 also uses the codename Snowcone, it's safe to assume that update 12.1 will bring minor changes to them. normal phones while foldables will see most of the action. XDA notes that the launch of the Pixel Fold may coincide with the launch of Android 12.1, so we might not see it at the Pixel 6 event on October 19.

Starting with the lock screen, Android 12.1 takes a two-pronged approach with notifications, battery and status information on the right side while the left side is reserved for the time and date. The unlock icon is centered between the two panes and looks quite large, making it easy to unlock your screen with a swipe. If you have a PIN or password, it will appear on the side you swiped to when unlocking the screen showing the PIN menu in one-handed mode.

Android 12.1 lock screen (Image: XDA developers)

A key feature of Android 12.1 seems to be its taskbar which has also been spotted in previous leaks. It allows users to dock up to five similar apps to a desktop interface so they can quickly launch and switch between them with just a tap. The taskbar is natively integrated with Android's multitasking and split screen features and offers drag and drop to launch in split screen mode. You can also long press the taskbar to make it disappear.

Android 12.1 Settings Menu (Image: XDA Developers)

Android 12.1 Settings Menu (Image: XDA Developers)

Proprietary applications and UI elements now use both sides of the screen to present information and submenus. The notifications shadow is split in half with a separate tab on the right for incoming notifications while the quick toggles remain on the left.

Android 12.1 failover and quick notifications (Image: XDA developers)

Android 12.1 failover and quick notifications (Image: XDA developers)

Split screen mode has a new look with a wider divider line which is now dark gray instead of black. There are also app pairs that allow you to open two apps simultaneously side by side from a single icon. Double tap on the separator line will allow you to swap the position of the two apps. The layout of recent apps is also changed, with the most recent app remaining in a larger window.

Android 12.1 split screen and recent apps (images: XDA Developers)
Android 12.1 split screen and recent apps (images: XDA Developers)

Android 12.1 split screen and recent apps (images: XDA Developers)

There's also the ability to directly open split-screen mode notifications, new startup animations, and an open-source theme engine that will be a Pixel exclusive for Android 12 but expected to get a more widespread version with the update. 12.1.

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