The first Android 12 Developer Preview is here, bringing with it a glimpse at some of the new features that will eventually show up in the operating system once it finally rolls out to everyone. There’s not much to go off just yet, but we’ll likely get more features as time goes on, and as Google releases a public Beta version.
Of course, given the fact that the Android 12 release is full steam ahead, you might be wondering when you can get your hands on it. The answer? It depends — but generally, Google releases full versions of Android updates to the public around August, and even then, it’s only to the Pixel and some partner phones. Here’s everything we know.
The Android 12 release schedule
Along with announcing the first Android 12 Developer Preview, Google also provided a release schedule for various milestones of the operating system’s development — giving us a good look at what to expect.
First up are a couple more Developer Previews, which prepare developers for the changes coming to Android, and allow them to update their apps accordingly. Most of the changes in Developer Previews are under the hood, so you shouldn’t expect too many visual changes. The second Developer Preview will release in March, and the third in April, if all goes to plan.
Next up are the Betas. The first Android 12 Beta will release in May, likely after Google holds an event or announcement of some kind. The Android Betas are much more consumer-ready, and offer most of the new features Google expects to release in the first truly public Android 12 launch build — including all the visual tweaks and updates you would expect from a new operating system. After the first Beta, Betas 2 and 3 will release in June and July. The fourth Beta will release in August, marking the “platform stability” point where Google says it won’t make any substantial changes thereafter.
Last but not least is the public release of Android 12. This will likely happen toward the end of August or the beginning of September.
What phones will get Android 12?
Initially, all Pixel devices from the Pixel 3 and later will get Android 12, along with some Android One partners. For Android 11, Sony, OnePlus, and Xiaomi all participated in the betas, and as such got the final release when it was available or very soon after. It’s possible something similar will happen this year, though nothing is official just yet.
Eventually, all high-end phones and most midrange phones from the past year or so should get Android 12. But it may take a while. After all, look at the Galaxy S20 series, which only got Android 11 starting in January, though Google finalized the OS in September. It’s pretty common for even flagship phones to get the next major software update two or more months after it’s released by Google.
Can’t I download a Beta?
Technically, you could get Android 12 before it’s released to the public, if you have a compatible Pixel phone, by downloading a Developer Preview or Beta.
We do not recommend jumping into the Developer Preview unless you’re doing so on a secondary device.
If you really want to get Android 12 early, at least wait until one of the final Betas.
If you really want to get Android 12 early, at least wait until one of the Betas. Developer Previews are often unstable, apps can crash, and with a Developer Preview or even an early Beta, your phone just might not work the way it should. And if you really don’t know what you’re doing, the process of installing can cause problems with the phone.
If you still want to forge ahead, you can check out the Android 12 Developer Preview for yourself here. As Android 12 progresses, and eventually rolls out to the public, we’ll update this guide with more information.