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How to install Android 12 Beta on your Pixel 3 or later

After going through the developer’s early preview phase, Android 12 Beta is now here. While the developer’s previous builds were very early builds, the new Android 12 Beta introduces several changes to the OS and becomes much more stable. Google says their main goal is to make Android 12 “more intuitive, better performing and more secure.” You can read more about the new Android Beta in our announcement feature.

As you’d expect from a beta, Android 12 Beta is primarily aimed at developers and while we’re beyond our previous look, we caution not to try it out unless you have a secondary device lying around as it is undoubtedly too buggy is to act as a daily driver. For those who have a spare Pixel or who want to be careful, you can download and apply the update manually or via OTA. That said, the recommended method is a wireless update that you can sign up for here.

While using a factory image is usually the default method, we strongly recommend that you skip the factory image in favor of OTA images. You still have to install it manually, but if you̵

7;re using an OTA image, you don’t have to wipe your device completely. If you are a developer and want the cleanest method, factory images might be better.

Do you decide you want to sideload or the OTA? Keep reading.

Editor’s Note: The Android Beta step above and below are compatible with Google Pixel smartphones from Pixel 3 series.

Here’s what you need to get started

  • A compatible Pixel 3 or higher device and a USB cable to connect it to your computer.
  • The Android SDK installed on your computer with the ADB and Fastboot command successful – watch the tutorial here.

Now for the actual steps.

Download the appropriate files to install Android 12 Beta

You need to download the correct file for your device before getting started. We recommend using OTA images instead of factory images as the process is easier and you can keep old files if that’s something you are interested in.

Click here to grab the OTA image for your specific Pixel device. It’s also possible to use the full factory images (here), but that requires additional hoops like unlocking your bootloader and more. So if you want to keep it simple, we recommend sideloading the OTA and designed our instructions below for this installation type.

Prepare your phone

After installing the file, you will need to restart your phone in recovery mode for the OTA to take effect. You are ready to install Android 12 Developer Preview!

  1. First turn off your phone.
  2. Then hold down power and Reduce volume buttons at the same time.
  3. The boot loader menu will now appear. Use volume buttons to scroll down Recovery mode.
  4. Select Recovery mode by clicking the power button.
  5. You will be presented with an Android robot with an exclamation mark on it. Now press the power button and the volume up button for about a second.
  6. Release the Volume Up button to put you in full recovery.
  7. Then use the volume buttons and scroll down to Apply update from adb. Press the power button to select the option.
  8. Finally, you will see a blank screen telling you how to sideload an OTA.

Prepare your PC to install Android 12 Developer Preview

Now that your phone is ready, it’s time to let the magic happen.

  1. Connect your handset to your PC with a USB cable. Remember that your PC must have ADB tools installed.
  2. Enter in Windows Command Prompt. On Linux or Mac you will want Terminal. For Windows users: Make sure to navigate to where you save the folder.
  3. Then you must enter adb sideload for Windows or ./adb sideload for Mac / Linux.
  4. Now you want to enter the name of the .zip folder from earlier and click enter.
  5. Once this is done your phone will return to Recovery mode, and you can remove the USB cable.
  6. Go to Reboot now using the volume keys and press the power button.

That is it. If everything went well, you could install Android 12 Developer Preview successfully.

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