Google has released the Android 12 beta 5. It will be the last test version and the “launch candidate” before the arrival of the final version that is only “a few weeks away”, says the Internet giant in the announcement.
Android 12 will be the new version of the most important operating system on the planet based on the number of potentially supported devices. The new ones that are going to arrive starting with Google’s Pixel 6 (which will release the new operating system as usual) and hundreds of millions of existing mobile terminals that can be updated and that we hope will be the maximum possible.
You already know that Android updates have been questioned for years. Almost all major manufacturers have announced an increase in the number of major versions to support, improving the two years that the industry has been taking by default and that the truth is insufficient and does not correspond to technical but commercial reasons.
We hope that the batteries are definitely put in place (as requested by Google, users and governments that are thinking about legislative measures to improve it), because the software section is as important (or more) than the screen, cameras or SoC when it comes to the purchase of a mobile phone and the manufacturer that wants to improve user support (and increase sales) has scope here.
Android 12 Beta, How to test it now?
If you are part of the system test program you will be able to receive the latest beta via OTA. Google is the one that offers the best support and the one that supports the most terminals, although there are other manufacturers that have collaborated in the test program such as ASUS, OnePlus, Oppo, realme, Xiaomi and others.
A list of the terminals that can be updated to Android 12 beta 5:
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 3a
- Pixel 3a XL
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4 XL
- Pixel 4a
- Pixel 4a (5G)
- Pixel 5
- Pixel 5a
- OnePlus 9/9 Pro
- Nokia X20
- Xiaomi Mi 11/11 Ultra, Xiaomi Mi 11i / 11X Pro
- ASUS Zenfone 8
- Oppo Find X3 Pro
- Sharp Aquos R6
- ZTE Axon 30 Ultra
- TCL 20 Pro 5G
- Tecno Camon 17
- Realme GT
- iQOO / Vivo 7 Legend
The list of manufacturers’ terminals is not exhaustive (except those of Google) and you will have to check their compatibility before flashing on the manufacturer’s page or on the Android developer website. Some manufacturers may also support a wireless (OTA) version. Each of them provides support resources to guide you through the installation process, but is not supported by Google.
If you have a Pixel smartphone with Android 11 installed, you can download an image for each of the supported models without having to unlock the bootloader and without having to delete data from the device. If you already have a trial version installed, it is even easier, just wait for the wireless update to arrive via OTA.
In all cases and although this version is very close to the end and a reasonable stability has been verified, it is still a beta version and as such we recommend that you make the corresponding backup copies to prevent data loss in the event of any error.
If you are interested in trying Android 12, but do not want any type of risk for your smartphone, you can do it through the emulator provided by Google, using Android Studio and following these official instructions :
- Install the latest Android Studio preview build.
- In Android Studio, click Tools> SDK Manager.
- In the SDK Tools tab, select the latest version of Android Emulator and click OK. This action installs the latest version if you don’t already have it.
- In Android Studio, click Tools> AVD Manager and follow the instructions to create an Android Virtual Device (AVD).
- Make sure to select a Pixel device definition and a 64-bit Android 12 emulator system image.
- If you don’t already have an Android 12 system image installed that matches your device definition, click Download next to the Version Name to get it.
- Go back to the virtual device list in the AVD Manager and double-click your Android 12 virtual device to launch it and test the version.
Android 12, news
The latest beta does not bring new features. The development of these closed with the beta 4 of August where the point of stability of the platform was reached after a public development that began in February with the first preview version. Beta 5 does provide greater stability for the system and apps and if it does not show serious bugs, it will be the final version to be released in a few weeks, says Google.
The general news were known from the first version, although others have been arriving in the development process that cover all sections of the operating system, the user interface, updates, media control, performance, support for new codecs, standards and technologies, security and privacy, and more. A summary of the most interesting:
- Revised notification controls.
- Simplified immersive mode to offer a more consistent experience for gesture navigation.
- Background apps will not start services to improve performance.
- You will be able to toggle which media players are displayed in Quick Settings.
- Apps will not be able to bug the system dialogs.
- Android 12 will restrict access to device MAC addresses for all non-system apps.
- Automatic transcoding of H.265 / HEVC and HDR content to H.264.
- Native support for decoding animated GIF and WBP files.
- Support for AV1 Image File (AVIF) container format.
- Support for audio playback of up to 24 channels.
- WebView on Android 12 uses the SameSite cookie behavior like the Chrome browser.
- Android Runtime (ART) will now be updated via Google Play, allowing Google to provide performance improvements more quickly without the need to release a full Android update.
We expect the final version of Android 12 in the next 2-3 weeks and it is an important release considering what moves the world’s leading mobility system.