Android 12.1 likely to test foldable phone improvements for Pixel Fold

The next big Android update will be released on October 4, according to a review document XDA. Android 12 It will be the biggest Android update in years, bringing an overhaul, a new theme engine, one-handed mode, and more. Given the size of the update, it’s possible that Google ran out of time to add one or more planned features, which pushed those features to the next release. We recently learned that Android The next version can be a one-time updateBut we didn’t know why at the time. Now, we have learned more about the planned features of the alleged Android 12.1 update, and it includes several improvements to the foldable phone experience.

The release of Android 12 sc-v2, which should be called Android 12.1, will improve the feature first seen in Android 12 developer previews. In Android 12 Developer Preview 2, we enabled The hidden function “Taskbar” In the pixel launcher that appears at the bottom of the screen where the navigation bar is normally and shows few frequently used and recently used apps. This taskbar is developed for large screen devices such as tablets, which have screens that are more suitable for multitasking.

However, since we first saw the taskbar in Developer Preview 2, we haven’t seen any major functionality improvements in versions later than Android 12. The reason, as we’ve seen. Now we know, is that Google has been working on the background-viewer feature for Android 12.1. In addition, we learned that Google is developing this taskbar feature for another category of devices with large screens: foldable phones. This makes sense, because the folds are like Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 And Huawei Mate x2 They are basically small discs when exposed. Galaxy Z Fold 3 also shows tablet versions of several apps upon unveiling, and If the rumors are trueThe Google Pixel Fold could be as tall as Samsung’s foldable at 7.57 inches when opened. While we can’t confirm if Google is developing an Android taskbar feature specifically for the Pixel Fold, we can confirm that folds are one of the form factors that this feature is targeting.

Google’s internal AOSP icon base contains several improvements to the functionality of the current taskbar. The code changes that implement the taskbar tutorial describe some of the intended functions. First, entering the tutorial will display an animation described as a “wave” in which symbols are scaled and translated up and then down. The tutorial then explains how you will be able to run two apps in split screen mode by dragging the app icon to one side of the screen, long press to hide the taskbar at any time (dock) and add your favorite apps/apps available in the taskbar. Once configured, the taskbar stays at the bottom of the screen but disappears automatically when the app goes full screen.

One of the software changes implemented in the taskbar tutorial included an image of the feature in action. The image, embedded below, shows a foldable phone running two instances of Chrome side by side, a feature Currently in testing. The screen separation line appears between the two Chrome windows, while the taskbar is centered and extends below both halves.

New taskbar for foldable phones running Android 12.1

New taskbar for foldable phones running Android 12.1

Google included this image in its initial implementation of the taskbar tutorial, but then replaced it with a more general view. It’s unlikely that Google swapped the image because it accidentally showed off the never-before-seen Pixel Fold, but the presence of the image at least indicates that Google is developing the feature with foldable phones in mind.

However, this is not the only software change in Android 12.1 that aims to improve the foldable phone experience. Various fixes in Android 12.1 add better handling of decoding animations in SystemUI. For example, one patch describes the “moving from center” movement of taskbar icons when you unlock a foldable phone. Another patch adds support for Hinge angle sensor while viewing the animation. Another solution is to open an activity from a pre-installed system or app in 2-panel mode when that activity is deeply linked from settings.

We don’t have a full picture of what to expect from Android 12.1, but it’s clear to us that we should expect some improvements for foldable phones in addition to new wallpaper. We don’t know if Google intends to launch the Pixel Fold with Android 12.1, but that would make sense given all the foldable new fixes we’ve seen in the middle of the release. Unfortunately, the Pixel Fold is Google’s most elusive Pixel phone to date, with only one phone A bunch of leaks in the supply chain With reference to possible display specifications. The phone, codenamed “Passport”, was a well-kept secret, rarely mentioned, even in non-public AOSP repositories. However, the internal code change does suggest a possible 2208 x 1804 screen resolution and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, although we can’t verify any of the specifications as there is no direct mention in the “Passport” device update note. We’ll have to wait for the phone to get close to release before we can learn more about it.

Speaking of which, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), believes that the Pixel Fold will be launched.

With LTPO OLED panel and variable refresh rate up to 120Hz. If the phone launches in Q4 2021, we’d be surprised because Google doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to containing leaks.

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