Android 12: the first beta is available, how to install it

Android 12 is now available in beta. True to its usual schedule, Google has just launched the first developer beta version of the update, the famous Developer Preview. At first, this beta is reserved for Pixels. We explain how to download and install the firmware on your smartphone below. 

This Thursday, February 18, 2021, Google put online the first beta version for Android 12 developers. As always, the Mountain View firm reserves this Developer Preview for smartphones from the range of Google Pixels. This year, only Pixel 3/3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 4/4 XL, Pixel 4a / 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 can install the update. Other smartphones will be added to this list in the coming weeks and months.

Google will offer several versions of the beta update reserved for developers by May 2021. Then, the American firm will launch the first beta open to the public, probably in the wake of the Google I / O conference. Several beta versions will go live until August. Google will then launch the deployment of the final and stable version of Android 12. Again, the Pixels will have priority.

On the same topic: Android 12 will finally offer one-handed mode for large smartphones

How to install the first beta of Android 12 on your smartphone?

Before starting the download and installation, we recommend that you back up the data on your Android smartphone. We remind you that this is a test version that is still very unstable. It is inevitable that you will encounter various bugs, slowness or malfunctions. Finally, note that you will not receive monthly security updates while using this beta version. This is obviously to be taken into account. We suggest that you do not install the Preview on the smartphone that you use to work or to receive important communications.

The easiest way to install Android 12 is through Android Flash Tool. For this method, you will need a compatible smartphone, a computer with Chrome / Edge and a cable to connect the two. Then follow the maneuver below:

  • Activate Developer options in your smartphone menus
  • Enable USB debugging on your smartphone
  • Go to Android Flash Tool with Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge on your computer
  • Connect your device via USB cable to your PC
  • Press Start
  • Select your smartphone
  • Click on Installer
  • Follow the instructions on the screen

An alternative, more complex method consists of install the Developer Preview using the Android SDK. Here's how to do it:

  • Download and install ADB tools and USB drivers for your computer
  • Go to the official Google website with your PC
  • Download the Android 12 install image that matches your Pixel.
  • Connect your smartphone to your computer using a USB cable (make sure you have enabled USB debugging)
  • Turn off your Android device and press the Power and Volume + keys for 10 seconds simultaneously to enter bootloader mode
  • With the volume buttons, choose Apply update from ADB and select with the Power key
  • Enter adb devices in the terminal of your computer
  • Enter adb sideload in the terminal. Be careful to replace your_file_name_here with the name of the file downloaded earlier. You may need to add / before and after the command for this to work.
  • The installation will begin
  • Reboot when done

Once you install this Preview, future updates and versions of Android 12 will be deployed like any other stable system update. It will not be necessary to go through all the stages. The process described above allows you toinstall Android 12 manually. If this method seems a little too complex, we advise you to wait for the opening of the public beta of Android 12 next May. The installation of the public beta promises, as always, to be much simpler.

Preview requires, all the new features that will be integrated into Android 12 are not present in this first update. Nevertheless, we already count several changes and improvements. First of all, Google is improving the efficiency of security updates deployed via the Play Store (the Project Mainline), spatialized audio (compatibility with MPEG-H 3D audio) and haptic feedback. Above all, the developers of the Mountain View firm are adopting a new compression standard, the AV1 image file format. What do you think of this beta? We await your opinion in the comments below.

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