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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Install the Android 12 Developer Preview (It’s a Lot Easier Than You Think) «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Install the Android 12 Developer Preview (It’s a Lot Easier Than You Think) «Android :: Gadget Hacks



Google released the first build of Android 12 almost exactly a year after Android 11 was released, which is remarkable in the midst of a global pandemic. But you can see that the Android technicians have been hard at work while quarantining as the latest OS version is packed with new features.

There’s a new theme system, revamped notification interface, system-wide support for dragging and dropping text, images, and clipboard content, and a slew of new Mainline modules that allow Google to bypass providers and manufacturers to release critical Android updates straight to the Play Store. So there’s a lot of reason to flash the new build, and thankfully, it̵

7;s a surprisingly easy process.

What you should know before you start

  • You have a Pixel 3 or newer, along with a USB data cable.
  • You also have one Windows Mac, or Linux computer.
  • YOU Do not need an unlocked bootloader.
  • YOU Do not need a developer account.
  • YOU will not loss of data in the process.
  • The process should take alone 10-15 minutes of work.
  • If you have been intimidated by command prompts, know all you have to do is type two wordsThe rest is done with mouse clicks and screen touches!

Step 1: Download the OTA ZIP

On your computer, start by downloading the Android 12 OTA file for your Pixel device. These files are hosted by Google on the official Android website and can be downloaded from the link below.

Step 2: Download the Platform-Tools ZIP

In order for your computer to communicate with your phone, you need to use Google’s Platform tools software. It is a small simple ZIP file available for all three major desktop operating systems:

Step 3: Extract the ZIP to your desktop

Now extract the Platform-Tools ZIP to your desktop. You can usually do that by double-clicking the ZIP and then dragging the folder that appears in your archive program to your desktop. You can also right click on the ZIP, choose ‘Extract here’ (or something similar), thereafter drag the resulting folder to your desktop.

Step 4: Open a command prompt in the correct folder

Now you should get a command box that works from the platform tools folder. If you’re using Windows, press the Windows button on your keyboard, type “cmd” and hit enter to open a command prompt window. If you are on Linux or Mac, just open the “Terminal” app.

Now type “cd” in the prompt and add a space, but don’t press enter yetInstead, drag it platform tools folder that you extracted in step 3, and then drop it in the top right of the command window. This will fill the location of the folder. If so, press Enter.

Step 5: Boot into Fastboot

Now you need to boot your Pixel in Fastboot mode, which will allow you to access recovery mode where you can flash the OTA ZIP to get Android 12.

To do that, start by restarting the phone. If the screen goes black, press and hold the volume down button. Keep holding it until the main Fastboot mode menu appears as shown below.

Step 6: Start the recovery

From the Fastboot Mode main menu, press the Volume Down button on the side of your device until the text in the top right corner reads “Recovery Mode”. From there, press the Power button to select this option.

You will soon come to a screen with a broken Android logo and the text ‘No assignment’. Here, press and hold your power button and then press and release the volume up button. You will now see the full Recovery Mode menu – scroll down with the volume buttons, then press the power button when “Apply update from ADB” is highlighted.

Step 7: Sideload the Android 12 update

Now connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. Type “adb sideload” (without the quotes) in the command prompt and add a single space, but don’t press enter yet

Instead, drag and drop the OTA ZIP you downloaded in Step 1 at the top right of the command window. This will fill the entire directory path of the file after the space, so when the command “adb sideload go ahead and hit enter

If this returns a ‘command not found’ error and you are running macOS or Linux or using Windows PowerShell, then all you need to do is add a period and a slash to the front of the above command. So this:

./adb sideload

… followed by a space, drag the OTA ZIP to the command window and hit enter.

The flashing will start immediately and will last for about 10 minutes, so make sure to keep the phone and computer powered on and connected. Once it is done, you will be taken to the main recovery mode screen – use the volume keys to highlight the “Reboot system now” option, then press the Power button to select it. When you get up again, you’re using Android 12!

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Cover image, screenshots and GIFs by Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

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