With Android 12L, it feels like we can now set a time frame for the upcoming Pixel Fold

With the recent announcement of the Android 12L update on the way, there is no way to bring all this new version of Android to the table and not be quite sure that it will arrive with a very specific phone in mind. While many of the Android 12L optimizations will make life much better for developers and users on Chromebooks, there’s no doubt that many of these updates will also be aimed directly at getting apps to behave fully on larger, folding screens.

With updates like better side-by-side app administration and notification layout, it’s not easy to realize that this “feature drop” primarily comes to make life easier for users running apps on folders, where apps aren’t exactly optimized for both larger screens and side-by-side screens.

While Google has some other reasons to get this update in the hands of app developers (Chromebooks, Android tablets and Samsung folders), I don’t think it takes too much digging to realize that their incentives can run a little deeper. After all, they have addressed Android app compatibility on Chromebooks several times, and Android tablets are not exactly bestsellers. With Samsung’s Galaxy Fold series, they’ve already gotten a lot of these things done via their own software adjustments, so there’s no great rush to repair Android 12 for these devices either.

Do not forget Fold

But then there is the mysterious, unannounced Pixel Fold, in which Google is still clearly invested. According to reputable leakers, there is a good chance that we will see the folding phone from Google announced by the end of 2021 and I could still see it as a reality. A quick post about The Keyword would be more than enough to tease the new phone without detracting from the ongoing Pixel 6 hype.

Note, however, that I said a teaser at the end of the year. With Android 12L so directly targeted at devices with side-by-side folding screens, there’s no reason to believe that Google would send their own folding phone before this update is ready for public release.

So even though I think we can still get official news about a Pixel Fold in 2021, I think the timeline for Android 12L is probably a very reliable guide to when we could see the actual release of Pixel Folds. In fact, it makes a lot of sense for the two to stand quite close to each other. Again, Android 12L will be great for other devices, but Google does not exactly have the feet to the fire to deliver this particular update to anything other than the Pixel Fold.

If that’s the case – and we think it is – I would totally expect Pixel Fold to arrive in early 2022 to be the flagship device for this rather large update to Android 12. After all, Google tends to liked having hardware to accompany major Android releases. Android 12L will be out for a while in the 1st quarter of 2022, and it feels more and more obvious that the Google-made foldable will follow suit. I know we’re all very excited about this, but what about you? Would a folding phone directly from Google be an interesting upgrade? Tell us in the comments.

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