Google Pixel 2 can now run Android 12, unofficially
In the last few weeks, we’ve come across a number of community-made Android 12 ports for several smartphones. The aftermarket developers have also released custom Android 12 Generic System Image (GSI) packages so that any Project Treble-supported device can boot the latest version of Android. Now, the four-year-old Google Pixel 2 lineup has received a taste of Android 12 through an unofficial build of ProtonAOSP custom ROM.
For those not familiar with the ProtonAOSP project, it’s a custom ROM created by Danny Lin, AKA XDA Senior Member kdrag0n — a highly accomplished developer, who gained fame for creating an open-source version of Android 12’s Material You theming system. For this particular ROM, though, the credit goes to XDA Members Lunarixus, RealOkabe, ReallySnow, and Dollscythe, who managed to come up with a functional build of ProtonAOSP for the Google Pixel 2 XL. At the time of writing this article, a separate build for the regular Pixel 2 isn’t up for grabs, but it should be available soon.
Among the things that do work out of the box, you can find that the critical functionalities, such as the cellular radio interface layer (RIL), camera, GPS, Bluetooth, and fingerprint reader are working just fine. In terms of bugs, encryption isn’t functional. Moreover, SELinux is set to permissive, which admittedly has serious security implications. It’s still an impressive achievement, considering that most phones need a much longer time period for a fully functional ROM free of camera or radio issues.
If you don’t mind these bugs and want to try out Android 12 on your Google Pixel 2/2 XL anyway, you can find the download links and detailed flashing instructions in the thread linked below. As far as installation is concerned, the ROM is currently distributed as factory images, which means it is a straightforward flash via Fastboot. One thing worth noting is that you have to be mindful of the data backup part, as you might need to re-partition and subsequently wipe the internal storage of the target device during the installation process.