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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to install Android 12 Developer Preview on your Pixel 3 or later

How to install Android 12 Developer Preview on your Pixel 3 or later



Android 12 stock photo 7

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Hover over Android 11, there’s a new developer preview in town! The last few Android versions have focused more on refinement than reinventing the operating system, and this trend apparently continues with Android 12 Developer Preview. 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 Developer Preview in our announcement feature.

As you would expect from a first preview, Android 12 Developer Preview is aimed solely at developers and is a very early build. We caution against trying it out unless you have a secondary device lying around as it is certainly too buggy to use as a daily driver. For those who have a spare Pixel or who want to exercise caution, your only choice for now is to manually download and apply the update. While using a factory image is usually the default method, we highly recommend skipping the factory image in favor of OTA images. While you still have to install it manually, if you’re using an OTA image, you don’t have to completely wipe your device. If you are a developer and want the cleanest method, factory images might be better.

Editor’s Note: The current Android Developer Preview is only compatible with Google Pixel smartphones from the Pixel 3 series. Later Developer Previews can be expanded to devices outside of the Pixel family, but we wouldn’t expect this anytime soon.


Here’s what you need to get started

Android 12 Stock Photo 2

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

  • 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 Developer Preview

You must download the correct file for your device before starting. 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 is 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

google pixel 4 vs pixel 3 vs pixel 3a 7

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 power and Reduce volume buttons simultaneously.
  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 ABDPress 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 make the magic happen.

  1. Connect your handset to your PC with a USB cable. Remember, your PC must have ADB tools installed.
  2. Enter in Windows Command PromptOn Linux or Mac you will want TerminalFor Windows users: Make sure to navigate to where you save the folder.
  3. Then you need to 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. Touch 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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