Google is launching the Android 12 Developer Preview today, giving those with a Pixel a preview of the upcoming operating system update, while setting the roadmap for when everyone else is looking forward to seeing it. It is a chance to see new features and APIs arriving on the new operating system, although at the moment it is targeted – as the name suggests – to developers who want to make sure their code works as expected, instead of regular users.
Still, it is almost certain that some of these users will jump to the free program, eager to take a look at Android 12. As always, the recommendation is that you load the preview on a non-essential device, as there is no guarantee of stability or that everything will really work.
Android 12 developer previews are expected to last until April. From May 2020 until around July, says Google, we can expect beta releases with greater stability, although it is still likely that some flaws will pass. Android 12 is expected to be stable around August 2020, with a final release sometime after that.
Of course, that schedule may well change. Part of what could control this is how many people actually participate in the preview – and the subsequent beta – and report bugs, incompatibilities and other problems.
If you want to try Android 12 Developer Preview, however, you need to be a Pixel user. Google is offering the update for those with Pixel 3, 3a, 4, 4a, 4a 5G or 5 and recommends using the Android Flash tool to flash an Android 12 image to that device.
Alternatively, you can manually install a system image, or even load Android 12 on a Pixel currently running Android 11. You can do this even without unlocking the phone’s bootloader, too, and Google says it shouldn’t clean your data too.
Again, for most people, it is probably advisable to wait for now. Still, Google is launching some rumors about why Android 12 is worth installing later in the program, including new security features related to password complexity and more.