Recently XDA Developers team got a hands-on with the newly released Android 12.1 Early Build which will arrive for foldable phones once Google announces the Android 12 official stable build publicly next week. Previously reported by XDA that Google is planning to release an interim software update before Android 13 in 2022 which could be the Android 12.1 build. Meanwhile, XDA has also indicated that the chances are high for this Android 12.1 update to arrive with the launch of Pixel Fold rather than the Pixel 6 event on October 19.
So, it seems that the Android 12.1 update will offer two-pane lock screen notifications, battery info, and status info on the right side. Whereas the left side of the lock screen display will only showcase time and date. The screen unlock icon will be placed middle portion and in a quite bigger size as well. However, if you’re using a PIN or Password lock then it will appear on the specific side of the display where you swipe up the screen for your ease just like the one-handed mode.
The update will also offer a taskbar that will allow users to dock up to five apps on the tray so that users can easily launch and switch between them similar to the desktop interface. The taskbar is also integrated with Android’s multitasking and split-screen features where the drag & drop option will work for the split-screen mode. Additionally, users can tap & hold on to the taskbar to remove it.
Google’s stock apps and UI elements will use the two sides of the display to provide information and sub-menus. Such as the notifications shade is split into two separate tabs on the left for quick shortcut toggles and on the right side for incoming notifications.
It’s also visible that the split-screen mode will have a new look with a huge divider line. There are also App Pairs that will let you launch two apps simultaneously from a single icon side by side. While double-tapping on the divider line will allow users to swap the position of the two apps easily. In terms of the recent apps interface, it’s also changed a bit with the most recent app that will preview larger app windows.
Foldable phone users with Android 12.1 or higher will also be able to directly open notifications in the split-screen mode. While new boot animations, an open-source theme engine (exclusive for Pixel on Android 12), etc will make it more worthy. However, there is no specific info available yet for the gaming interface or multimedia streaming experience, etc.