Android 12! How do I install Developer Preview?

Welcome Android 12! As you may have read earlier in the morning, there is a new preview of Android for developers! The latest versions of Android have focused more on refinement than on the complete redesign of the OS, and this trend apparently continues with Android 12 Developer Preview.

android 12 techbeam
(Image source: Verge)

Google says its main goal is to make Android 12 “more intuitive, more efficient and safer.”

As you might expect with a first preview, Android 12 Developer Preview is aimed only at developers and is a very early version. In other words, I would advise you not to try it unless you have a secondary device at your fingertips, as it is certainly too buggy to be used as a daily pilot. For those with a spare Pixel smartphone, your only choice at the moment is to manually download and apply the update. Although using a factory image is usually the default method, I recommend you wait for OTA images.

Although you still have to install it manually, using an OTA image doesn’t require you to completely erase your device. Of course, if you’re a developer and want to use the cleanest method, factory images may be preferred.

The current preview for Android developers is only compatible with Pixel smartphones from the Pixel 3 series. Here are the prerequisites:

  • A Pixel 3 or higher compatible device and a USB cable to connect it to your computer.
  • The Android SDK installed on your machine with and control adbfastboot

Now, the steps to follow.

Download the appropriate files to install Android 12 Developer Preview

You need to download the appropriate file for your device before you start. I recommend using OTA images instead of factory images, as the process is easier to complete and allows you to keep old files if you’re interested.

Click here to get the OTA image for your Pixel device. It is also possible to use the complete factory images(here), but this requires additional operations, such as unlocking the bootloader and much more. Again, if you want things to stay simple, I recommend you load the OTA images.

Also read about: Simplified version of Android called MicroDroid

Get your phone ready

Once the file is installed, you need to restart your smartphone in recovery mode in order to apply the OTA. You’re ready to install Android 12 Developer Preview!

  • First, turn off your smartphone
  • Then hold down the power and volume buttons low at the same time
  • You arrive at the bootloader. Use volume buttons to scroll down until Recovery Mode choice
  • Select Recovery Mode by clicking on the power button
  • You’ll see an Android robot with an exclamation mark. Press the power button and the top volume button for about a second
  • Release the top volume button and you’ll be in recovery mode
  • Then use the volume buttons and scroll down to the Apply update from the ADB option. Press the power button to select the option
  • Finally, you’ll see a blank screen showing you how to load an OTA file

Get your PC ready to install Android 12 Developer Preview

Now that your smartphone is ready, it’s time to move it forward

  • Connect your smartphone to your PC via a USB cable. Keep in mind that your computer needs to be equipped with adb
  • In Windows, enter the command prompt. In Linux or Mac, you need to use the Terminal
  • Then you have to enter for Windows, or for Mac/Linux and enter the name of the folder .zip of the recovered archiveadb sideload./adb sideload
  • You should have an order like: Press the Entry button./adb sideload /Users/ypoiron/Downloads/coral-ota-spp1.210122.020.a3-8ef8443b.zip
  • Once you’re done, your smartphone will return to recovery mode and you’ll be able to remove the USB cable
  • Click Reboot Now with the volume keys and press the power button

That’s all. If all went well, you were able to install Android 12 Developer Preview successfully.

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