May 18th, 2021

After a few months of being locked in Developer Preview status, Android 12 is finally arriving in the form of a beta. Google has introduced this beta program during the course of Google I/O 2021, and gives the chance to see what’s been in the works for the past year. If you want to give Android 12 for a spin yourself, you can do so, provided that you are running at least the Pixel 3.

What devices are eligible?

With the release of Android 11, this marked the end of support for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Those were worthy devices that some folks are still managing to keep running, but Google will no longer be supporting them with major software releases. Because of this, the list of compatible devices shrinks a bit, leaving the following options as being compatible with the Android 12 beta program.

  • Pixel 3 / 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a / 3a XL
  • Pixel 4 / 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a / 4a 5G
  • Pixel 5

How to install Android 12 beta on your phone

Instead of jumping through a bunch of hoops, including needing to install the Android SDK on your computer, you can enroll in the beta program right from your phone. In the last few years, Google has made it extremely easy and simple for users to join the program. This has been done so that the latest version of Android can get into the hands of many more Pixel owners ahead of its official launch this Fall.

Here are the steps that you’ll need to take in order to install Android 12 beta on your Pixel.

  1. Go to the Android Beta Program landing page.
  2. Sign in to the website using the same Google account that you use on your phone.
    • You should see a list of devices you own that are eligible to participate in the Android 12 beta.
  3. Click on the Opt-In button for the device you want to use.
  4. Accept the terms and conditions and click Join Beta.
  5. On your phone, go to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update > Check for update.
  6. It can take up to 24 hours for the beta to be available on your device, so if you don’t see it yet, check again later.

There are a few things to make note of when it comes to installing the Android 12 beta on your Android phone. First of which, as soon as Google says “GO”, there are going to be quite a few people trying to join the program all at the same time. This means that you may not be “accepted” into the program right away on your device, but the update will eventually come.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we don’t recommend putting the Android 12 on your primary phone. Just because Android 12 has moved out of its developer preview status and into the beta program, doesn’t mean all of the bugs have been worked out yet. There’s the potential of some bugs making their way into the beta program, and that could wreak havoc for apps that you use and rely on every day.

As a pre-caution, we recommend backing up your phone to Google Drive before installing the beta so you don’t lose any precious information or data.

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