Update 09/09/2022: Google is in the process of rolling out a fifth and final beta version of Android 12 to supported devices (see screenshot). This "release candidate" version should be very close to the final version expected this fall and would be stable.
Google gave us a first in-depth look at Android 12 at its Google I/O conference last May. This is the most important update to the mobile operating system for several years and brings notable changes to the interface.
Google also took the opportunity to release the first beta version of Android 12 that can be installed on selected smartphones for the time being.
New in Android 12 is an adaptive interface that changes its color to match the chosen wallpaper, improved privacy controls and deeper interaction with Chromebooks and Android TV.
If you feel like trying these new products before the release of the final version of Android 12 that will take place this fall, we explain in detail how to install the beta version.
How to install Android 12 beta?
Important precision in the preamble. A beta version is not free of bugs and glitches that can alter to a greater or lesser extent the use of the mobile, especially in terms of autonomy. Generally, it is advisable to install a beta on a secondary mobile. In any case, we recommend performing a full backup before starting the transition. Note that it is possible to uninstall Android 12 beta to return to Android 11, but there is an important trade-off to keep in mind that we will discuss below.
Got a pixel? Here's how to test Android 12 beta.
Giving honor where honor is due. As always, newer Pixel smartphones get the scoop on Android updates. Here's the list of models eligible to install the Android 12 beta:
- 5 Pixel
- Pixel 4a
- Pixel 4a (5G)
- 4 pixels
- Pixel XL 4
- Pixel 3a
- Pixel 3a XL
- 3 pixels
- Pixel XL 3
For the purposes of this article, we installed the Android 12 beta on a Pixel 5. If you own one of the above Pixels, first head to the Android beta program website. Sign in to the site with the same Google account you use on your smartphone. You will need to see some warnings regarding the use of a beta operating system. Read the information and scroll down the page to go to the Your Eligible Devices section.
You will find a list of phones associated with your Google account that are eligible to participate in the beta. Click the + Enable button for the phone you want to enroll in the beta program. In the window that opens, scroll down the page and check the box I accept the terms of the beta program and finally click Confirm and sign up.
Then, on your smartphone, go to Settings> System> Advanced settings> System update> Check for updates. It may take a few minutes for your phone to show the update. If you don't see a pending update, wait a few minutes and try again. Once the update appears, click Download and install. It is 1.88 GB in size, so the installation may take a while depending on the performance of your Internet connection. When your phone reboots, it will run Android 12.
If you don't have a Pixel smartphone
During the keynote, Google indicated that some of its partners will also launch the first beta of Android 12 for certain models. These are OnePlus, ZTE, TCL, Oppo, RealMe, Sharp, Tecno, Vivi, Xiaomi and Asus. In the past, the installation process differed for each brand. Most request to install the update via a wired connection to your computer, and in most cases, you will need to reset your phone to factory settings during the update process.
In the past, the installation process differed for each brand. Most ask you to install the update via a wired connection to your computer, and in most cases you will need to reset your phone to factory settings during the update process. The Android developer site has posted direct links to instructions for each developer participating in the beta program.
How to uninstall Android 12 Beta and revert to Android 11
You can quit the Android beta program at any time. But, and this is a big but, you'll need to factory reset your phone to get back to Android 11. If you previously backed up your original settings, you will be able to restore them, but you may lose some data in the operation.
To exit the beta, return to the Android 12 beta site, but this time click the disable button under your device. Wait a minute or two, then check for a software update on your phone under Settings> System> Advanced Settings> System Update> Check for Updates. Install the update, which will factory reset your phone. Once this is complete, you'll need to set up your phone as it was when it was put into service, starting with logging into your Google account.