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17 November 2021

#Android Developer Summit: 3 things to know for Large Screens on Android!

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Posted by Clara Bayarri, Engineering Manager

This year’s Android Dev Summit brought a lot of updates related to Large Screen development for Android, the 12L feature drop on foldables and tablets - a set of features optimising Android 12 for large screens, better developer tools and updates to Google Play purpose-built for large screens. Here are the top 3 things you should know:

#1: The 12L feature drop for large screens

12L makes Android 12 even better on Large Screen devices, with a bunch of new refined UI across surfaces such as notifications and the lock screen. The most important announcements for developers included

  • A renewed emphasis on multitasking. This means all apps can now enter split screen mode, regardless of whether they are resizeable or not.
  • New improvements to compatibility mode
  • New Activity Embedding APIs that allow you to show multiple activities side by side, making it easier to build large screen optimized layouts in existing apps

To find out more about what’s new, check out the What’s new for large screens and foldables video and .

#2: Making it easier to build for Large Screens

Android has supported Large Screens for a long time, but we announced several new tools to help you scale up your app’s UI to larger form factors.

  • New Material Design Guidance targeted at large screens, including a definition of common layout patterns prevalent in the ecosystem to help inspire your app’s design
  • Window Size Classes, a new framework of breakpoints designed to represent the most common form factors in the ecosystem you should design and develop for
  • Updates to SlidingPaneLayout, the View component for 2 pane layouts, to support Navigation
  • New Compose APIs that make developing adaptive and responsive UI very simple, including Navigation Rail support
  • Android Studio reference devices, a new set of device profiles that represent the widest range possible of devices in the ecosystem to test for
  • Visual Lint brought to Android Studio Layout Validation to detect issues with large screen layouts
  • A brand new Resizeable Emulator that can quickly toggle between the reference devices

Learn more about all these items in the Building Android UIs for Any Screen Size and Design beautiful apps on foldables and large screens talks, and check out the latest Large Screen guide and Build adaptive layouts in Compose guide for more. You can also check out Best practices for video apps on foldable devices and Spotify Across Screens for examples on how apps are making this journey.

#3: Google Play updates for Large Screens

To help users find the best apps on tablets, foldables and ChromeOS devices, we’ve got new changes in Play to recommend apps optimized for the large screen. This includes new checks to assess app quality, so we can feature large screen optimized apps and update search rankings to show the best possible apps for these devices. We will also be introducing large screen specific app ratings, so users will be able to rate how your app works on their large screen devices.

You can find all of this year’s Android Dev Summit talks related to Large Screens in this playlist, and the full list of announcements for Large Screens in our blog post.