Android 12 has been official for almost a month but new details are still emerging through the official Android 12 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD). This time, the document has revealed that a native app cloning feature is coming to Pixel phones soon.
This should allow Pixel users to have multiple copies of the same app. For example, you could have two different WhatsApp chat messengers running at the same time on the same device. This was explained by XDA Developer’s chief editor Mishaal Rahman in one of his latest tweets.
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
He explains that the native cloning feature on Android 12 will let users have multiple instances of the same app without having to go through separate profiles on their phones. Google’s official CDD document describes the clone profile feature as:
A user profile type used to run the second instance of an otherwise single user App (e.g., messengers). Only the primary user is allowed to have a clone profile.
Google has not mentioned which apps will support this feature, but it will likely start out with Google’s default apps before rolling out to third-party apps. As always, Google Pixel users will get it before anyone else, but it will gradually become available to all Android 12 users eventually.