How to get the Android 12 Beta on Google Pixel

12, which first made an appearance at I/O in 2021, is now available in beta for all Android users to try out. Here's how to install the Beta on your Google Pixel.

Is your Pixel compatible?

To see if your device is compatible with the Android 12 programme. Google's own Pixel devices and only those that will get the Android 12 upgrade this Fall at this time are currently the only devices with these capabilities. It includes:

Pixel devices compatible with

  • Pixel 3/XL
  • Pixel 3a/XL
  • Pixel 4/XL
  • Pixel 4a/5G
  • Pixel 5

Regardless of the location or carrier, all of these devices should be compatible with the Android 12 Beta programme. You may double-check whether your device is compatible by visiting Google's sign-up page. Your Google Pixel smartphone should appear on the website when you visit the site.

What is the latest Android 12 Beta?

The current beta version of Android, version 12, is Beta 3 as of July 14th, 2021. The latest version was released on July 14th, for both over-the-air (for users already in the Beta Program) and sideloading (for those who did not register for the Beta Program).

How to Enroll in Android 12 Beta Program on Pixel

  1. Check if your device is compatible
  2. Opt-in for the beta program
  3. Install the OTA on your device

Once you have verified that your devices are compatible, you may choose which ones to participate in the programme. Simply click the Opt-In button, accept the terms and conditions, and then select “Join Beta“. From that, Google has started to work some magic on its servers to distribute the new software to your device.

How to get the Android 12 Beta on Google Pixel

If you have opted in, it could take a few minutes to a few hours for the update to finish downloading and installing on your device. Additionally, you will need to make sure that you have already installed any additional updates. To check for the Android 12 beta update manually, head to Settings > System > Advanced > System Updates.

If you have previously installed the beta and then change your mind to go back to Android 11, you can re-enroll your device from same previous visited page.

How to sideload Android 12 Beta on Google Pixel

  1. Download the needed files
  2. Boot into Recovery mode
  3. Navigate to ADB sideload
  4. Connect the handset to a computer with ADB tools installed
  5. Enter the sideload command
  6. Reboot your phone

1. Download Android 12

The first step is to download the Android 12 system files that are required to install Android 12 on your Pixel. Both of these approaches are effective. In addition, you can download and install a Factory Image, which erases your phone and re-installs the operating system from the beginning. Additionally, and as we discuss here, an OTA file, which installs over your existing version of Android, is downloaded from the internet, instead of replacing your phone's software.

Google has a Full OTA Image hosting site that you may use to get the beta OTA file. To verify you are downloading the file that is associated with your device, scroll down until you see the appropriate one.

Only Google Pixel 3/XL, Pixel 3a/XL, Pixel 4/XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 are currently able to get the Android 12 Developer Preview. Just as with the original Pixel/XL and Pixel 2/XL, you cannot install this beta on those devices.

2. Boot into Recovery mode

Once you have unlocked your bootloader, your next step is to boot into Recovery mode. The most effective way to do this is to fully power down your handset. Once you have hit the Power button and the Volume down button at the same time, keep holding down on the Power button and the Volume down button until you arrive to the Bootloader screen. When you see an Android figure lying down on the screen, you will know you are at the right place.

You can use your volume controls to move your cursor down to Recovery mode. Selecting this launches the application. You can use the “reboot recovery” command to reboot into recovery mode regardless of whether you have ADB connected to your PC.

This smaller Android has an exclamation point above it, and that is what you should see now. Once in Recovery mode, continue to hold the Power button and the Volume Up button for around a second. Once you have released the Volume Up button, you will go into Recovery.

3. Navigate to ADB sideload

Scroll down to ADB Update using the volume buttons, and then use the power button to choose it. While there will be messages on the screen instructing you to sideload an OTA (such as this for the Android 12 Beta), the app will launch in a mostly blank screen.

4. Connect the handset to a computer with ADB tools installed

The only way to send the OTA file is to perform this step. To make ADB and Fastboot work, you'll need to have them in an easily accessible location. You can download ADB tools from the Android Developers website. You can also use the Universal ADB Drivers from ClockWorkMod, which can make the process a bit easier on Windows devices.

5. Enter the sideload command

You can now sideload the OTA file if everything is in order. You should make sure that your Command Prompt is pointing to the folder containing the ADB tools, and then you should type in “./adb sideload“. Google it if you need help. After you've extracted the Google Drive ZIP file, you'll then have to input the file name of the newly created .zip folder and hit enter to begin the installation process.

To verify the sideload and installation process, you should see dialogue and a visual representation on your computer and mobile device.

6. Reboot your phone

You will return to Recovery Mode once the OTA installation is finished. The last step to upgrading to the latest version is to press the Power button and select the Reboot now option.

Be aware: While doing this operation, your device is not erased, but it is recommended practise to make a backup of any non-replaceable data, just in case something goes wrong.

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