How to install the Android 12 public beta

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Android 12’s public beta is now available, following Google’s deep dive into the new software at Google I/O 2021. My colleague Dieter Bohn got an exclusive in-depth look at the new Material You design language, as well as everything else that’s new. And good news: if you’ve got an eligible device, you can try it out right now, and that’s what I’m going to walk you through.

What’s great is that you don’t have to go through the tricky, fail-prone task of flashing your phone. Instead, you can easily enroll it to receive the update with a few clicks from your desktop or mobile browser, and in just a few minutes, you’ll be ready to install it on your phone.

When you set up the Android 12 beta on your device, you’ll be set to receive all future beta updates to the OS (including the final release) over the air, which is convenient. As always, keep in mind that this beta is unfinished software, so you could encounter bugs ranging in severity. At the very least, make sure that your device data is backed up on the cloud, and maybe think twice about loading the beta onto your daily driver.

First, let’s see if you have an eligible device.

Which phones currently work with Android 12 beta?

How to install the Android 12 beta

How you get this software on your phone ranges from requiring just a few clicks to something more involved. For this beta download, it’s considerably easier to get the Android 12 beta on one of the supported Google Pixel phones.

For a Pixel, begin by visiting the Android 12 beta site to enroll your phone in the beta. You should be able to find your phone listed when you click “view your eligible devices”. You might be nudged via notification on your phone that the software is ready to install. If you want to check manually, open the settings menu on your phone, then head to System > System Update. Tap “Check for update” to see if you can download the new software.

If nothing happens right away, your only option is to keep waiting. In the past, I’ve gotten the beta update on my phone within minutes of enrolling, though sometimes it takes hours. Google says it may take over 24 hours for the software to be ready to install on your phone, so hang tight.

As for supported phones from other brands like OnePlus, Realme, Sharp, and others, follow the instructions on each page, as the process for installation seems to differ depending on the manufacturer.

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