Android 12L tablet-friendly OS starts here, with Lenovo

JC Torres - Dec 2, 2021, 8:58am CST
Android 12L tablet-friendly OS starts here, with Lenovo

Google made a rather unexpected but definitely welcomed announcement in late October that puts a better focus on Android running on large screens, which included not just tablets but also everyone’s favorite foldables. Of course, the easiest devices to target with Android 12L are tablets, so it’s probably no surprise that a tablet is also the first to get the special spin’s first developer preview. As announced back then, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is getting that preferential treatment, but its availability almost makes it pretty pointless for many developers.

Google has always had a rocky relationship with tablets, which is what makes Android 12L such a surprising move. It is long overdue, of course, and Android has mostly been left by the wayside, eating iPadOS’s dust in the past year or two. Google can hopefully make up for lost time in the next few months before it drops Android 12L’s first table release.

According to Google’s timetable, the first beta of this tablet-sized feature drop will happen sometime this month. Before that, however, it seems that Lenovo is giving owners of its new Lenovo Tab P12 Pro tablet a head start by making available the first developer preview (DP1) of Android 12L. Before you go rushing to get it, however, there are some caveats that even the bravest of advanced Android users need to consider.

As a developer preview, it’s naturally in a state that would be relevant only to developers. Not everything is working, and some are even noted to be broken. It’s a rather long list that will immediately tell you that you won’t be able to use the tablet as a daily driver if you ever try to install Android 12L on it. Fortunately, Lenovo also offers a way to go back to good old Android 11, but that might require a factory reset that will wipe whatever data you might already have on the device.

Some Android developers might not even get that far anyway since the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is still missing from most stores shelves around the world. That doesn’t exactly speak well for what is being promoted as Android 12L’s reference developer device since it’s not something many can get their hands on yet anyway. That could change in the next month or two, but until then, eager Android devs will just have to make do with an emulator or hope that Android 12L’s list of compatible devices will expand quickly.

It’s a bit of a shame, given how attractive the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is as an Android tablet. Powered by a Snapdragon 870 with 8GB of RAM, the large 12.6-inch tablet comes with a keyboard cover in the box and is compatible with Lenovo’s Precision Pen 3. It definitely makes for an enticing development device, so it will hopefully become more widely available in the next few weeks.


Must Read Bits & Bytes