Although Android 12 has been in development for a while, there are certain things that we’re only learning about now. XDA’s Mishaal Rahman went through the Android 12 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) published recently to discover a nifty new native stock Android app cloning feature. This is enabled with the help of a new profile type known as Clone profile.
Rahman details how this feature finally allows users to run second instances of an app without having to maneuver through a work profile.
The description on the document notes – “Clone profile is a user profile type used to run second instance of an otherwise single user App” followed by the example of messenger apps. However, it also specifies that only the primary user can have a clone profile installed on the device.
Pixel phones don’t allow users to run the same app twice unless the user is willing to set up a Work profile. Since this method can be somewhat irritating for the average Pixel owner, Google appears to be developing a simpler cloning solution.
Additionally, Rahman notes in a follow-up tweet that users can utilize three instances of a single app on the same profile using a combination of main, clone, and work profiles. However, we’re unsure if this will be the case with the final version of the upcoming Clone profile feature.
XDA points out that OEMs like Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others offer the ability to have two instances of an app. So this won’t be unprecedented in the world of Android.
When will this feature make its way to Android 12?
It’s unclear if the Clone profile will work right away on Android 12. There’s currently no flow to clone apps or even to differentiate them on Android 12. Moreover, the feature reportedly has plenty of bugs in its current implementation. So this seems like a feature that Google will roll out sometime in the future and not right away.
This is pretty much everything we know about the new Clone profiles feature on Android. But as is the case with most upcoming features, this probably won’t be the last time we hear of it.
As we wait for the addition of Clone profiles, it’s a good time to check out what’s new with Android 12. The new update is currently rolling out to all Pixel phones barring the 1st and 2nd gen models. Meanwhile, the newly launched Pixel 6 and 6 Pro come with Android 12 out of the box.