How to register for and download the Android 12 beta

Android 11 hasn’t been around for very long for a lot of us, since for many of us, our phones have only just been updated. But even though that’s the case, the next version of Android is on the way. Imaginatively titled Android 12, the new version of Google’s operating system is due to arrive in the fall, with development well underway. If you’re anxious to see what Google has planned for your phone, you can get involved in the public beta. Yes, the public beta program for Android 12 has arrived (for certain phones), and in this article, we’re going to show you how to install that beta.

But before we start, it’s important to note that beta programs are not for everyone. The new software isn’t going to be complete for quite a while, and while we’ve passed the dreaded developer beta period, there are still plenty of hazards to be found within the public beta release. We tend to not recommend downloading a beta on a phone you use on a day-to-day basis, and that goes doubly where this current beta is concerned. Instead, you should probably wait until the full release of Android 12.

Phones compatible with the Android 12 beta

The Google Pixel 5's rear casing in black.
Google Pixel 5 in Just Black Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Not every phone will be compatible with the final Android 12 release, and even fewer are compatible with the developer beta. Here’s the list of phones currently compatible with the Android 12 beta:

  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Asus Zenfone 8
  • OnePlus 9
  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • Oppo Find X3 Pro
  • Xiaomi Mii 11
  • Xiaomi Mii 11 Ultra
  • Xiaomi Mii 11l
  • Xiaomi Mii 11X Pro
  • ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G

What new features can you expect in Android 12?

Android 12's new design.

Before you actually download Android 12, you’ll want to know if it’s even worth downloading. In short, what are you getting from the new version of Android that you don’t get from Android 11?

The biggest change is a dramatic change in style. Android 12 will be the debut of Google’s new design language, called Material You. Buttons are bigger and bolder, with more rounded edges. The rise of huge devices means Google isn’t worried too much about space anymore, and that shows in Android 12’s new design. These larger buttons and sliders mean everything is easier to spot and — crucially, for many — easier for fast-moving fingers to tap.

The bigger buttons mean the notification shade gets a big rework, with buttons now being much larger and easier to toggle. There are also new privacy controls, courtesy of the Privacy Dashboard, which lets you see which apps you’ve given permissions too, as well as a timeline of when apps have accessed your location data.

Those are some of the biggest new features, but they’re not the only ones. Our Android 12 news post has a full breakdown of everything Google is bringing to the table with Android 12.

How to install the Android 12 beta

So you’ve got your phone, and you’re ready to plunge into the cold waters of a software beta. Where do you start? Well, start by backing up your Android phone’s data, as installing the developer beta involves completely wiping your phone. We have a guide on backing up your Android phone, so make sure to do your due diligence before you start, as no one wants to lose data.

Once you’ve done that, here’s how you can download and install the Android 12 beta:

Step 1: Head to the Android 12 public beta website.

Step 2: Scroll down to the Your Eligible Devices section.

Step 3: Select the Opt In button underneath your eligible phone.

Step 4: Tick the appropriate boxes and Confirm and Enroll. You should now get a confirmation that your device is part of the beta.

Step 5: On your phone, head to the System Updates section of your Settings app. This is found in Settings > System > Advanced > System Update on Google phones, but your device may vary slightly.

Step 6: There should be an update available. Tap Download and Install to start the update process.

Once the update has finished, you should now be running the Android 12 beta and should have access to all the fun new features. Keep an eye out for bugs, and have fun!

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