Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 adds this cool Android 12L upgrade

One UI has added Taskbar to Samsung's Z Fold 4 folding phone for improved operation

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

There's been a lot of talk about Samsung's 2022 folding phones, namely the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 – both of which I've seen and used ahead of the Unpacked launch event

But it's the former and larger of those two foldables, the Z Fold 4, which brings an exciting new Google Android 12L feature, courtesy of Samsung's One UI software skin. And I think people will find it rather exciting. 

I'm talking about Taskbar. It is, as it sounds, a taskbar that pops up by default where the typical Android trio of softkey controls are present, offering up to eight app shortcuts across the unfolded device's much larger screen real-estate. 

Taskbar echoes the bottom row of as you have by default in the lowest denominator on your Android homescreen. When setting up the Z Fold 4 that'll be a bunch of Samsung specific apps, but you needn't leave it that way – you could swap for, say, Spotify, TikTok, or whatever else you want. Then you can quick-access and launch these apps without needing to return to the homescreen.

Taskbar doesn't replace Samsung's Edge Panels feature either, a similar tab that you can have positioned to the edge of the screen, dragging it in for access to select apps and contacts as you wish. In the Z Fold 4 you could have both Taskbar and Edge Panels functioning in tandem.

Android 12L Taskbar in Z Fold 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Where Taskbar becomes particularly insightful is with the Z Fold 4's Samsung One UI software skin: in addition to the (up to) eight app shortcuts, a divider can show an additional two recent apps to the right of these. So if you have, say, a banking app open and need to swap to a calculator, you can quickly hop back over to the other app via Taskbar.

Furthermore, as the Z Fold 4 can display up to three apps simultaneously in split screen format, the Taskbar will save your live layout as a shortcut too. So if you want to jump between a full-screen app and any dual- or tri-divided app setup on your screen, you can do that too.

I think in a foldable phone such as this that Taskbar adds a real added bonus that could change the usability of such a large-screen device. I really enjoyed using the Z Fold 3 from 2021, but the massive screen – I know 7.6-inch doesn't sound huge, but it's all about the aspect ratio – is hard to navigate, and Taskbar adds a nearer-to-your-thumb way of doing so thanks to Android 12L.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.