How to install Android 12 beta on a phone

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2021-03-25 22:02:51

The second version of Android 12 Developer Preview has appeared, which means the new operating system has gradually become more stable. Since this is a Developer Preview version, not a public beta, Google still restricts the installation. You will need to be familiar with the Android SDK and your computer’s command line tools if you want to install it. However, in this article, make tech still guide you.

Which phones can install Android 12 Beta?

There are 9 phone models from Google that support Android 12 Developer Preview:

  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a
  • Pixel 4a 5G
  • Pixel 5

Install Android 12 using the Android Flash tool

New this year is the ability to use the Flash Android tool, a web-based version of the ADB developer tools, to install the Android 12 trial onto your phone.

  1. Go to the Android Flash Tool page.
  2. Allow the site to access ADB in a web browser.
  3. Activate mode Developer Mode on the phone.
  4. Activated USB Debugging in Developer settings.
  5. Activated OEM Unlocking on the device.
  6. Connect your phone to the USB port on the phone.
  7. Select the device from the pop-up and follow the instructions to install the beta.

Install Android 12 Developer Preview via bootloader

Right now, the only way to install Android 12 Developer Preview is through the original image. You can override any Android version by flashing a full original image. Either way, your phone will reset completely, or you can sideload the OTA (over-the-air) photo into the existing Android 11 settings and keep the data.

Before taking the steps to transfer Android updates, you should have prior knowledge of how to work with the Android SDK (software development kit) and Terminal (OS X or Linux) or Command Prompt (Windows), as It can harm your device if something goes wrong in the following process.

If you need to download the Android SDK, you can get it from the Android Development website and follow the instructions on how to install it correctly. For the following procedure all you need is the “adb “ and “fastboot” located in the directory Platform Tools, so read the description at the developer’s website and download the appropriate file.

Additionally, all of the following commands will be used in Terminal on either Linux or OS X platforms. If you are following this guide and using a Windows machine, you will not need to add “./” included in the instructions. Just type the rest of the command line in the order they’re listed.

Enable developer settings and USB debugging

  1. Into the section Settings on the phone.
  2. Scroll down select section About Phone / Tablet.
  3. Click on the section Build number 7 times until a dialog pops out saying you have become a developer.
  4. Go back to the menu Settings and choose System.
  5. Choose Advanced.
  6. Click on Developer options.
  7. Choose OEM Unlocking (enter the code for the process to work).
  8. Turn on OEM Debugging.

If done right, this will be everything you need to do on your phone or tablet at this point.

Unlock bootloader

Pixel phones purchased directly from Google have a bootloader that you can unlock. If you want to flash the software manually, you will need to do this.

To do this, you must first boot into the bootloader. Manually turn off your phone or tablet, then hold down the power and volume down buttons to enter your device’s Bootloader Menu or enter the following commands in the command input menu.

Run the following command to make sure your device is properly connected to the computer. If it returns a string, it means you’re ready to start updating your device.

./adb devices

Now to enter the Bootloader menu, just run the following command.

./adb reboot bootloader

At the bottom of the screen, there will be a few things listed including the device’s lock status. This will say locked unless you’ve unlocked your bootloader before and never go back and lock it again.

To unlock the bootloader, which is required only when flashing the original firmware image (without sideloading the update), you must enter the following commands. Remember that when you unlock your phone’s bootloader, it will factory reset the device, so you will lose everything stored on it. If you haven’t backed up anything important on your device, you can press the power button while Start is highlighted in the Bootloader menu. This will reboot your device as usual. Now go back to unlock your bootloader.

Type the following command:

./fastboot flashing unlock

A dialog box will appear on the device asking if it is sure of the unlocking or not. Again, this will factory reset the device, so if you want to go back to the process just select “no” using the power button. If you’re ready to unlock the bootloader, press the volume up and power buttons simultaneously to confirm that you want to unlock the bootloader.

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

You should restart the bootloader to self-test to make sure everything is working correctly before moving on to the next step.

Flash Android 12 original photo on phone

To find images, go to the Android 12 Factory Images page, find your device and download the latest images. Then the easiest way is to unzip the files in the directory Platform Tools file you downloaded (where the file is located “adb” and “fastboot”) so that you do not have to enter paths to different files when installing the firmware.

To get started, make sure you’re still in the bootloader menu on your device and double-check that the bootloader is actually unlocked.

First, make sure that your computer is correctly connected to your phone or tablet. As long as your device’s serial number reappears as a connected device, you’re ready to start updating your device.

./fastboot devices

Once you have verified that your phone and computer are properly connected, you can initiate the flash.

The easiest way to install any Android native image through the bootloader is to use a script flash-all. You will find the file “.Bat” for Windows and files “.Sh” for Mac and Linux inside the image you downloaded, and they can automate the whole process. To get started, make sure your phone is plugged in for the entire process. Then enter the following command.

./flash-all

The process will be uninterrupted once it starts and by default it will erase all user data on the device. Just leave it alone and when it’s done, you’ll reboot to Android 12.

You can also flash each file individually. The steps are a bit more complicated but in the same way – enter a command to flash a file and not touch anything until the terminal says the process is complete.

First you will need to flash the bootloader update with the following command.

./fastboot flash bootloader [bootloader file].img

You won’t see anything on the device screen but there will be a dialog box in the terminal or command prompt. Once the bootloader is installed, you should reboot into it to make sure everything is working properly.

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

Next, you flash the updated radio. This step is only necessary if you are updating the firmware of your phone or tablet with built-in mobile radio.

./fastboot flash radio [radio file].img
./fastboot reboot-bootloader

Finally, it’s time to flash the actual system image onto your device.

./fastboot -w update [image file].zip

When the process is done, the phone will automatically reboot and work normally. Since this process erases all the data, it may take a little longer for your device to boot up for the first time. Upon encountering the device setup wizard, you have successfully updated the firmware to the latest version.

Flash Android 12 OTA photo on phone

If you want to try Android 12 on a Pixel but don’t want to lose any data, then the best option is to download the entire OTA image. Doing so will install Android 12 on a currently running Android 11 build but ensure that the data is still intact. Before we begin, make sure that there are no OTA updates that haven’t been installed on the Pixel yet. Go Settings> About phone> System updates to see if there are any pending updates. Also make sure that you have turned on USB debugging on your phone.

To get started, head over to the Android 12 OTA images page and download the build suitable for your phone. To download, you will need to use ADB. Once this app has been installed on the Windows PC and the OTA image has been downloaded, you can start downloading the build.

First, you need to put your phone in recovery mode. You can power off and then hold at the same time power button and volume down button in a few seconds to enter the bootloader menu and select the recovery option using the volume down button.

Here, you will see the Android icon face down with an exclamation mark. Hold down power button and volume up button once to enter recovery mode. Go to the option with content Apply update from ADB using the volume up button and confirm your selection by pressing the power button again.

Now you are ready to download OTA images. Confirm that your phone can connect to your computer and use it normally. Enter the following command:

adb devices

You should see your phone’s serial number and the download next to it. Now we can install the OTA build; run the following command:

adb sideload ota_file.zip

You will need to pass ota_file.zip with the filename of the OTA build for your particular device. For example install Android 12 on Pixel 3 XL, enter the following command in the command prompt:

adb sideload ota_file.zip

For this process to work, make sure that the OTA file is in the same folder as the CMD path.

After the OTA file is transferred to the phone, it will go back to the recovery menu. Into the Reboot system Right now and confirm with power button to restart the phone. The OTA update will be installed and the phone will switch to Android 12 without losing any data.

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