At the Google Pixel Fall Event yesterday, the company has finally released Android 12 to the Pixel devices, and they can now be downloaded onto your devices, assuming you have a Pixel. In the update, Google has also quietly added Android 12 Clone Profiles, which lets users run a second application of a certain app at the same time.
The news was found by Mishaal Rahman, who found the newly added feature in the Android 12 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), which unveiled the new app clone feature for Pixel users. With the new feature, users can run a second instance of the same applications, for example: You can – in theory – run two Twitter applications at once for two separate accounts.
I've been giving the Android 12 CDD a *very* thorough read, and I just discovered something quite interesting.
Looks like Android 12 quietly added a new profile type called "Clone." Android seems to finally natively add app cloning support, without the weird work profile hack!
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) October 18, 2021
Google’s CDD document described the clone profile feature as: “Clone profile is a user profile type used to run second instance of an otherwise single user App (e.g., messengers). Only the primary user is allowed to have a clone profile.”
Some OEMs such as Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi offer the feature on their custom Android versions by default, but the feature was never available on vanilla Android, or for the Google Pixel devices up until now. You will now be able to run a second instance of an app such as WhatsApp on your Pixel device.
Creating a Clone profile doesn’t seem to be supported and working right now, and there doesn’t seem to be any options to differentiate them in Android 12. The feature in its current state seems to not work properly, so it may need to be patched and updated by Google once more before making it more widely available and publicly introducing the feature.
What are your thoughts about the feature? Do you find app cloning useful? Let us know in the comments below!