Android 12’s final beta is here, and it’s also available for the Pixel 5a
Android’s most exciting update in years is almost here, but we’ll have to wait a few more weeks until it’s available to the public. To prepare for the stable release of Android 12, Google today released a final beta build to let users offer last-minute feedback. Like the previous beta release, Android 12 Beta 5 features finalized SDK and NDK APIs, app-facing system behaviors, app-facing surfaces, and restrictions on non-SDK interfaces, so it’s time for developers to get their apps ready for the new OS.
The final beta update is also a release candidate build, which means that, assuming nothing goes wrong, this build should graduate to stable status. The stable release is still “a few weeks away”, according to Google, so there’s still time for them to catch any bugs that arise following today’s release. If you encounter any bugs while testing Android 12 Beta 5, be sure to leave feedback so Google can address them before the stable release.
If you’re a developer, it’s time to start compatibility testing and release compatibility updates as soon as possible, especially if you’re the maintainer of an SDK, library, tool, or game engine that downstream app and game developers rely on. Once you’ve published a compatible version of your app, you can update your app’s targetSdkVersion to 31, which will be a requirement to publish on Google Play next year.
You can download Android 12 Beta 5 today on all compatible Pixel phones, including the newly released Pixel 5a. Visit Google’s android.com/beta web page to learn how to enroll your Pixel phone into the Android beta program to receive an OTA update to Beta 5. Alternatively, you can manually install the firmware files needed to update your Pixel phone to Android 12 Beta 5, using either the download links that Google provides or the Android Flash Tool. We have links to all the Android 12 Beta downloads as well as detailed instructions on how to install them, so be sure to check out those articles if you’re interested.
Google’s web page also provides links to all of the Android 12 Beta programs run by other smartphone makers, such as Sharp. If you can’t find an official beta program for your phone, then you may be able to install or temporarily boot a Generic System Image (GSI) of Android 12 Beta 5 onto your device. If you don’t have a physical device to test on, then you can create an Android Virtual Device (AVD) in Android Studio. Finally, if you’re looking to test your app on Android TV, you can install the latest Android 12 Beta for Android TV on the ADT-3 Developer Kit.