After the release of the public beta last month, Google is rolling out Android 12 beta 2 today. The second beta introduces a new privacy dashboard, an updated Wi-Fi UX interface and brings us closer to the global launch later this quarter. Here̵
The Android 12 beta 2 adds more “definitive system behavior”, refines the new Material You experience and introduces additional “Platform Stability” for app developers. That said, it’s still a beta so expect a few bugs or issues.
How to get the Android 12 Beta 2 release?
Google’s Android 12 beta is available on more phones than ever before, making it tempting for many to try it out.
Normally, Android betas are only for Google’s Pixel phone line and the easiest way to get them is by going to google.com/android/beta. However, after the successful beta last year with Android 11, the Android 12 beta has a huge list of supported devices. We expect the list to grow, but here are the compatible phones so far.
We’ve included relevant download links for each device’s Android 12 beta (if available), but some may not offer the 2nd release right away. Make sure to download the correct file for anything that isn’t Pixel.
Those with a Google Pixel device already in the first beta will get an automatic over-the-air update to Android 12 beta 2. Anyway, remember to proceed with caution.
What’s new in the 2nd beta
First up is a new privacy dashboard that builds on the changes we saw in the first beta. Google has integrated an entire section into user privacy settings. By tapping on a section like “Location”, owners get a detailed view of which apps have opened their location, at what time and for how long. That way, you can quickly adjust the permissions accordingly.
Switch microphone and camera
This privacy change extends to the rest of the software, too, with new microphone and camera switches. Along with indicators on the home screen and notification bar when a phone’s microphone is used, the 2nd beta adds a quick setting button to instantly disable it. With this change, you can end the connection to your microphone or camera, than dig into the settings to see which app did it so you can adjust the permissions.
In short, a quick on/off switch for the camera and microphone. When you turn off the camera and then open an app that uses the camera, it’s a black screen until it’s turned back on.
Updated WiFi interface
Google has also integrated a new kind of “Internet panel” into the connectivity and Wi-Fi section in the status bar, quick settings drop-down and main settings menu. This new menu makes it quick and easy to switch between ISPs or troubleshoot connectivity issues.
As the second beta, of course, Google has made several changes to improve performance and security, and fix any bugs or issues from the first release. You can check Google’s release notes for more details, but expect improved stability, better battery life, and more apps that should work with the second Android 12 beta.
Android 12 release date and now what?
Google says the next major update to the Android 12 beta will come in July, the third beta. If you’re considering installing the 12 beta on your primary phone (your daily driver), I suggest you wait for that third release.
Then the 4th and final beta or “release candidate” will come out sometime in August, ahead of the official release date of Android 12 around the world. Google hasn’t given specific dates, but Android 11 arrived in September, so we’ll have to wait and see.