Although Android 12 is already public, the official Android 12 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) has revealed some new details, including a new native app clone capability for Pixel users. This enables users to run many instances of the same app, such as an instant messaging client.
According to Mishaal Rahman, the native cloning capability on stock Android would allow users to have multiple instances of the same app without having to create a separate work profile on their phone. The clone profile feature is described as “a user profile type used to operate the second instance of an otherwise single user App (e.g., messengers)” in Google’s CDD specification. A clone profile can only be created by the primary user.” What apps will be compatible with this capability remains to be seen.
Previously, users who wanted to utilize several instances of the same app on Pixels and devices that didn’t have the app clone capability had to create a work profile. Above all, they’d have to switch between two profiles to access two separate instances of the same software.
But that is no longer the case. With Android 12, the device’s principal user can build a clone of their favorite apps and access them both from the same profile.
However, as Android 12 is still in its early stages and only Pixels have begun to receive it, app developers might need some time to add support for the new native cloning feature.