Android 12 Beta Overview Updated December 8, 2021

Android 12 Developer Preview

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163 'Android 12 Beta' stories

February 2021 - January 2022

Long before Google makes Android 12 available as a stable, user-facing release, it is available in a Developer Preview phase, so that developers are able to prepare their applications and make the necessary changes well ahead of the full release.

This is a non-user-facing build of the latest mobile operating system, that itself evolves and changes over time as more versions are released to the public. However, it is often not stable enough to be used on a smartphone used daily.

As with previous cycles, the Android 12 Developer Preview phase includes 3 core builds. Any subsequent hotfixes and issues that urgently need to be resolved are issued as .1/.2 builds respectively. Upon conclusion of the “Preview” phase, Google will launch the user-facing Android 12 Beta phase. This is available to all Google Pixel owners, with the ability to enrol or sideload so that you can trial run the OS before it is available in late 2021.

Google has provided the following timeline for the entirety of the Android 12 Preview phase along with upcoming Beta releases — while a stable release is not explicit:

Android 12 DP3

This timeline is subject to change at any time, so it cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate even though Google has provided the information. That said, it is a fairly solid timeline based upon previous years and even with COVID-19 delays and distractions.

Android 12 Developer Preview: New features

Android 12 looks set to provide one of the most comprehensive overhauls to the mobile OS in some time. A major facelift is expected, with a rounded, bubbly UI already visible within the Android 12 Developer Preview 3. That’s not all though, as there are numerous under-the-hood changes and APIs that enable things such as rich content insertion, native image decoding, compatible media transcoding, and much more.

The latest Android 12 Developer Preview release focuses in the following areas:

This release offers a number of tools for app developers to improve the user experience:

  • New app launch animation: To make “app startup a more consistent and delightful experience,” Google is introducing a default animation from the point of launch, splash screen with the app icon, and transition. Developers will be able to customize the splash screen’s background, replace the app icon, control timing, and more.
  • New incoming/outgoing/screened call notifications: Meant to improve visibility, scannability, and consistency, the new CallStyle template is available for dialers or chat apps with video calling. Rising to the top of the notification shade, they support multiple default and custom actions and can be customized with a large avatar image, text, and button color hints.
  • Improved web linking: URLs that haven’t been through Android App Links or manually approved by users are immediately opened by the default web browser instead of the “chooser” dialog. 
  • Richer haptics: Android 12 is introducing support for more expressive effects, like a low tick, as today’s actuators feature broader frequency bandwidth. The goal is to allow developers to create “informative haptic feedback for UI events.” Similarly, game developers have more access to motors in game controllers. Google says, the Pixel 4 offers the fullest examples of these upcoming APIs today, and that it’s working with OEMs.
  • More-flexible backups: Developers can now set different rules (including encryption requirements) for cloud backups and device-to-device transfers. For example, large files can be excluded from the former method but included in the latter. 

Android 12 Beta Stories January 18

Google opens feedback survey for Pixel users running Android 12L Beta 2

The Android 12L Beta 2 software survey is now open for Pixel owners to report their experiences from the past week. 

Android 12 Beta Stories January 12

Android 12 is a huge visual update, but some changes turned out to be frustrating for some users. With the latest Android 12L Beta update, Google is adding an option to turn off the two-line clock on the lockscreen.

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How to get the Android 12L Beta on Google Pixel

Google’s Android 12L is designed for big-screen phones and foldables akin to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the underserved Android tablet market. However, some Google Pixel owners can install Android 12L today through the beta program.

Android 12 Beta Stories December 13, 2021

With the Android 12L Beta 1 now five days old, Google is asking Pixel owners to fill out a feedback survey. The questions are similar in nature to the original form used during the initial beta period.

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Android 12 Beta Stories December 9, 2021

Android 12L Beta 1: Google adds a faster way to switch your wallpaper from the launcher

Android 12, at least on Pixel phones, is all about colors. The colors picked from your wallpaper control what you’ll see throughout the rest of the system, and in Android 12L’s first beta, Google is adding a faster way to change your wallpaper.

Android 12 Beta Stories December 8, 2021

As we’ve been expecting since the start of this year, Android is getting a new “App Pairs” feature that is live in 12L Beta 1. On phones, it replaces the previous “Split screen” approach to multitasking.

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The first beta release for Android 12L has arrived, and it’s available on Pixel smartphones. Those devices can’t fully take advantage of most of Android 12L’s large screen optimization, but we can see some of Google’s other upgrades. One notable change is that, in Android 12L, Google is introducing a new style for its Internet toggle and other quick settings.

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Android 12 Beta Stories December 2, 2021

How to downgrade from Android 12 to Android 11 on Google Pixel [Video]

If you are not content with Android 12 on your Google Pixel, it’s probably music to your ears knowing that you can downgrade your OS to a stable version of Android 11 if you encounter any major problems or just don’t like the substantial overhaul.

Android 12 Beta Stories October 19, 2021

Just over two weeks after Android 12 hit open source, Google this morning rolled out the stable version of Android 12 to existing Pixel owners. That event would normally mark the end of a release’s Android Beta Program, but Google is continuing it this year.

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Android 12 Beta Stories September 15, 2021

Following last week’s release candidate, Google today opened the Android 12 Beta 5 feedback survey. Like in August, its availability was delayed from the usual Friday after launch.

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Android 12 Beta Stories September 8, 2021

Besides a slew of Material You additions and other enhancements, Android 12 Beta 5 today expands — as we’ve been expecting — Nearby Share with an “Everyone” visibility option, redesigned QS pane, and multi-device sharing.

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Android 12 Beta 5: Pixel phones will notify users that charging is limited when overheating

Google recently added a new feature to Pixel smartphones that is designed to retain battery health by limiting charging in certain circumstances. Now, in Android 12, Google is expanding this limit so your Pixel will limit charging when the phone is overheating.

Android 12 Beta 5: Smart home quick controls get a dedicated lockscreen shortcut

Android 11 delivered a truly great feature to the power menu with a list of smart home controls at the ready, but Android 12 completely removes it. That feature, though, will live on in another sense with a dedicated shortcut on the Android 12 lockscreen for smart home quick controls.

Beta 5 of Android 12 is here as the final update before the public launch in the coming weeks. The Android 12 Easter egg was introduced last month, but it’s gotten more elaborate today with a homescreen widget that tells you the Dynamic Color palette Material You is using.

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After being spotted in progress with previous releases, the universal device search is now live in Android 12 Beta 5 within the Pixel Launcher app drawer.

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Google is bringing a whole new design to Android 12 with “Material You,” and that includes the first formal widget revamp the platform has seen in the better part of a decade. Now, in Android 12 Beta 5, Google has finally debuted a taste of its preferred design for Material You widgets in the form of some clock widgets.

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Google today released the final update to Android 12 before the public launch in the next few weeks. Over the coming hours, we’ll dive into Android 12 Beta 5 to chronicle all the new features.

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Just a day after its first security update became available, Google’s latest affordable phone, the Pixel 5a, is now eligible to join the Android 12 Beta.

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Nearly seven months have passed since Google released the first developer preview of its next major mobile OS release. Android 12 Beta 5 is available today as the final update (and release candidate) before the public launch.

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Android 12 Beta Stories September 7, 2021

Wallpaper-based theming is the main highlight of Android 12 and Material You. However, Dynamic Color did not initially work with the Pixel Live Wallpaper collection/category, and an app update rolling out this week remedies that.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 25, 2021

The first Android 12 Beta worked out relatively well. There were no major bugs to speak of outside of one that prevented users from accessing the power menu easily. With Google Pay functional, it seems as though there were no major reasons to skip. After a second beta released caused many issues, though, you’d be justified in being wary of the third. Luckily, Android 12 Beta 4 bugs appear to be fairly scarce.

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Exactly two weeks after the last release in the preview program, Android 12 Beta 4.1 is rolling out with much-needed bug fixes on Pixel phones.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 20, 2021

Besides VPN issues and some notifications not popping up, Android 12 Beta 4 is quite stable for day-to-day usage. An issue that emerged in the last day or so, however, sees Android System Intelligence crash repeatedly on Android 12.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 18, 2021

This month’s feedback survey comes a week after Google released Android 12 Beta 4. Its availability is slightly delayed from the usual two days following launch.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 15, 2021

With the December 2020 Feature Drop, Google made it so that your Pixel phone charges slowly at night to preserve battery health. Pixel users have had hit or miss experiences with Adaptive Charging, and Google now looks to have tweaked how it works on Android 12.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 13, 2021

With this week’s release, Google is “moving into the final phase” of Android 12 and focusing on “polish, performance, and stability” rather than adding new features. However, a bug in Android 12 Beta 4 sees most notification banners not pop up.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 12, 2021

Android 12 Beta 4 has added a fair volume of new features and functions, but the lockscreen has seen a trio of tweaks that include the brand new Google Sans Text for the Now Playing feature, plus some improved icons for other existing features.

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Android 12 Beta Stories August 11, 2021

Besides wallpapers, Google lets owners customize the Pixel experience by making available a large collection of ringtones, notifications, and alarm sounds. Android 12 Beta 3 introduces a trio of additions to the Sounds app, and they’re very likely the new/next Pixel defaults.

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We are potentially just a month or so away from the actual full stable Android 12 release, and that means that the public-facing preview phase is not far off done. Android 12 Beta 4 has arrived some four weeks after the third, and following all of our previous deep dives, we’ve been spending time with it to find the best new features and changes that you can enjoy right now.

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The multitasking menu in Android 12 has been tweaked over the Beta period, but the layout is mostly unchanged. Google, however, has put a lot of work into making it easier to share content from Recents, and Android 12 Beta 4 adds image support.

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With the release of the Android 12 Beta 4 build, new features are pretty thin on the ground, but the long-awaited Game Dashboard is now far easier to launch, with the in-game quick toggle also making an appearance.

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Every year, Google includes an easter egg in the latest Android release, and Android 12 is no different. With the release of Android 12 Beta 4, this year’s easter egg is live, serving to showcase Material You and its dynamic colors.

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The visual theme of Android 12 is by far the biggest change to the platform, and in Beta 4, Google is still making tweaks to how Material You is implemented. In this latest release, more themed icons have been added, and the Google Search logo on the Pixel Launcher gets a delightful Material You makeover.

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With the Platform Stability milestone in today’s release, Android 12 nears a public launch. Over the coming hours, we will dive into Android 12 Beta 4 to chronicle all the new features.

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This year’s Android preview cycle sees two additional releases before wider consumer availability with the public launch. Android 12 Beta 4 is rolling out today for Pixel phones with “Platform Stability.” 

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 31, 2021

While most Pixel fans are eagerly anticipating the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro — confirmed to be an overhaul of the Made by Google phone series — the Android 12 Beta includes clues to what Google phones will come after that. These possibly include a foldable Pixel and the presumed Pixel 6a.

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 26, 2021

The next version of Google’s mobile OS just saw its latest patch today and is scheduled for one more beta before the release candidate and consumer launch. One of those releases will see the Android 12 Easter egg, but here’s a preview of it right now.

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Almost two weeks after the last major release in the preview program, Android 12 Beta 3.1 is rolling out with key bug fixes on Pixel phones.

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 23, 2021

Android has always been famous for its customization options, but in Android 10 Google pushed that a step further with the ability to easily adjust system accent colors and fonts. In Android 12, though, it seems the ability to swap fonts and icons is being removed in favor of Material You.

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 20, 2021

Android 12 bug sees missed call notification stuck on Pixel phones, will be fixed

The beta releases of Android 12 have, mostly, been pretty stable so far, but as with any early release, there are usually a few quirky bugs throughout. In Android 12 Beta 3, an annoying hiccup on Pixel phones sees the missed call notification stuck, but Google is aware and planning to fix the issue.

Android 12 Beta Stories July 19, 2021

Android 12 is the biggest update visually to the platform that we’ve seen in years, and alongside bigger overhauls like Material You, there are also a bunch of new animations. One new animation that’s not immediately obvious, though, is an updated charging animation when your Pixel phone is powered off.

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 17, 2021

While Android 12 stability is improving with every release, it’s still in beta, and some users last night received a reminder of that status via an absolute slew of system “Foreground Service BG-Launch Restricted” notifications that were generated by Gboard.

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 16, 2021

Following the launch on Wednesday, Google has opened the customary Android 12 Beta 3 survey for Pixel owners

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Android 12 has brought a ton of new changes to smartphones, as we’ve detailed over the past few months. However, Android TV and Google TV are known for providing most updates independent of system versions. In Android TV 12 Beta 3, though, there are a few minor tweaks to Google TV and Android. Here’s what we’ve found.

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Android 12 Beta Stories July 14, 2021

Android 12 brings a lot of visual changes with it, and now the out-of-box-experience is being updated to match. With Android 12 Beta 3, Google is giving a fresh coat of paint to the setup experience on Pixel phones.

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The stable Android 12 release has inched ever closer, with Android 12 Beta 3 dropping just a month after the second build. Following our other deep dives, we’ve been spending time with Android 12 Beta 3 to find the best new features and changes that you can try right now.

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Following the first beta, Android 12 users immediately complained about how the ripple effect looked like a graphical bug. Google responded and promised updates, with Beta 3 today delivering a more subtle sparkle.

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While Android 12 builds have been available for Android TV for months now, there have been no visible changes to the platform to date. Today, though, Google has finally detailed what’s new in Android TV 12, most notably delivering long-overdue support for 4K UI rendering.

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