Google finally started to pay attention to Android on large-screen devices once again with the recent Android 12L update (also known as Android 12.1). The new release added a taskbar and updated layouts for tablets and foldables, but there’s still more work to be done, and Google has a few more improvements in the works for Android 13.
Beta releases for Android 12L included a new feature for notifications, which allowed you to drag a notification to one side of the screen to open it in split-screen mode. The functionality was never fully enabled, including in the the final Android 12L release, but now it has made a return in the second Developer Preview for Android 13. Best of all, it doesn’t need to be manually enabled like in Android 12L — as Esper’s Mishaal Rahman pointed out in a tweet, it’s already enabled for everyone, though it’s still a bit buggy.
In Android 13 DP2, you can now long press a notification and drag it to enter split-screen mode.
This was actually added to Android 12L and was hidden behind a feature flag: https://t.co/M7Cre8ZEon
It’s still pretty buggy, though. pic.twitter.com/9qY0zMcwm2
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 17, 2022
The new gesture follows other improvements to multitasking and tablet support in Android 13 and 12L. Android currently opens notifications on whichever side of the screen was most recently interacted with, which definitely isn’t intuitive. The new gesture will help make split-screen mode more predictable, though Google might need to make the functionality more discoverable before the final release of Android 13.
Android 13 Developer Preview 2 also includes runtime permissions for app notifications, improved Japanese text wrapping, a new Text Conversion API for languages like Japanese, COLR fonts, MIDI 2.0, Bluetooth LE Audio, and other changes. Check out our main Android 13 Developer Preview 2 coverage for more information and the download links for Pixel devices.
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