Wind turbines on the mountain

Android 12 logo via wikipedia (Public domain)

Android 12 Developer Preview

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This article is about installing Android 12 on a supported Google Pixel device using the OTA image. If you have a compatible device you can try out Android 12 today. You can get back to the current release, or just wait for further over the air updates from the preview.

TL:DR— If you have a recent Google Pixel phone and the Android developer tool 'ADB' which is part of the developer tools this is easy enough to do.

Android 12 images are available for Google Pixel 5, 4a, 4a (5G), 4, 3a, 3a XL, 3, and 3 XL devices.

The OTA image shouldnt (and in my case didnt) cause any problems, and should not wipe your data but your mileage may vary! I havent noticed any reliability issues in the last couple of days having installed it on a Pixel 4a (5G) phone.

More polish in the User experience

Androis 12 includes a few improvements you'll notice immediately and many that you won't notice yet because developers need to build apps that support them or they are not yet in the build of Anrdoid 12 that has been made available.

  • New call notifications have more visibility.
  • Notifications can be snoozed.
  • Screenshots can be annotated in the editor with text or stickers.
  • Alarms require less battery if implemented using inexact alarms.
  • Web linking respects your default browser rather than from a chooser dialog.
  • Richer haptics on devices that can support them.
Screenshot of Android Developer Preview warning

Step by step instructions

  • % adb reboot recovery
  • On your phone select Apply update from ADB
  • Now sideload the update to your device (your filenames will vary)
    % adb sideload bramble-ota-spp3.210325.010-310ea898.zip 
    serving: 'bramble-ota-spp3.210325.010-310ea898.zip'  (~94%)    adb: failed to read command: Undefined error: 0
    

    You can ignore the error message on your computer, check for completion on the device.
    Now send the package you want to apply
    to the device with "adb sideload filename"…
    Supported API:3
    Finding update package…
    Verifying update package…
    Update package verification took 37.1 s (result 0)
    Installing update
    Step 1/2
    Step 2/2
    
    Install from ADB complete with status 0.
    
  • Choose reboot system now
  • Check your android version now says S
  • That's it!

Screenshots

I used the screenshot editor to annotate them with our twitter @ez0ne

Screenshot of Android Version
Screenshot of android media settings
Screenshot of Android Notification snooze options
Screenshot of android

Footnote

Android 12 logo— The svg of the android 12 logo is in the public domain over at wikipedia. It is also displayed at developer.android.com but I needed a png version of it for this website. There is an easy way to convert it (on macOS Big Sur)...

  • Install homebrew (requires Xcode and command line tools) and then
  • % brew install librsvg
  • % rsvg-convert -h 512 android12-hero.svg > android12-hero.png
  • That's it!