Android 12 might make multi-tasking much easier

Android split screen
(Image credit: Future)

The Android 12 reveal date likely isn't too far off, but we've heard another load of features that the upcoming version of Google's operating system could have.

This comes from XDA Developers, which has apparently been using an unreleased version of Android 12 provided by a source. This isn't a Developer Preview, which Google releases occasionally, designed so app developers can understand how a future operating system works. Instead, it's a brand 'new' cut of Android 12.

Off the back of its time with Android 12, XDA Developers has listed quite a few new features they've spotted in it - lots of these are rather minor, like loads of design changes and some privacy tweaks, but a few are pretty big.

For example, there's now an easier way to search for home screen widgets, and there are plenty of new emoji too. But perhaps the most useful new features seem to be the multi-tasking ones.

New multi-tasking features

We've been hearing about App Pairs, whereby you can simultaneously launch two frequently-used-together apps at the same time from one icon on the home screen. This would be great for people who want to multitask on their phones.

None of the developer previews so far have come with a working version of this feature, but XDA Developers' newest version did to a limited extent. Apparently, there are ways to manipulate the apps in use, like by double-tapping the divider to swap them around on screen.

How exactly App Pairs works is a big question we have, one that will likely have to wait until the Android 12 launch to get answered for sure.

Another change, which seems to be just for tablets, is an improvement to how dual-screening works on tablets - it seems you'll be able to put two versions of the same app, or the home screen, side-by-side. You can do this on iPadOS already, and it's a useful productivity tool.

Android 12 will likely be unveiled in the middle of 2021, but these early looks at it give us an idea of what to expect.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.