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Two Homescreen Layouts Supported in the Pixel Launcher

The goal of Android 12L was to prepare “stock” Android for foldables while also improving the user experience on larger screens. We’re getting a first peek at the Pixel Launcher’s new ability to handle different display layouts on one device in the first developer preview for Android 13, which is almost probably for future foldables. For some context, foldables like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold series have one giant display on the inside and a smaller, different-aspect-ratio display on the outside.

On foldables of this sort, we’ve seen two approaches to the Homescreen thus far. The Homescreen layout on the Oppo Find N is the same on both the outer and inner displays, but the Galaxy Fold series has always given a separate layout on the outer and inner displays. Personally, I prefer the latter experience, and it appears that Google agrees.

Two Homescreen Layouts Supported in the Pixel LauncherThe Pixel Launcher now has the ability to remember two fully different Homescreen layouts in Android 13.This is demonstrated by changing the DPI on our Pixel 4 XL from its default setting to one that activates the big-screen capabilities added in 12L, such as the taskbar. When the DPI is reduced, our old layout remains, but when the DPI is increased, a new layout is created.

When we move back to the original DPI and then back to the big-screen version after removing an app or folder from the big-screen version, the layouts are remembered. We did observe that some icons would return after moving back, which could be related to the feature’s early stage or the fact that we were travelling back and forth between the two.

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