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Google says Android 12 is a ‘few weeks away,’ makes beta available on Pixel 5A

Google says Android 12 is a ‘few weeks away,’ makes beta available on Pixel 5A


Google’s newest software on its newest phone

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Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

Google is releasing what it says is the fifth and final version of the Android 12 beta, adding that the official release of the full Android 12 operating system is “just a few weeks away.” The new beta release will also be the first one that Pixel 5A owners will be able to install.

People who are already running the beta aren’t likely to notice much of a difference, as its focus is on getting developers ready for the impending official Android 12 release, rather than adding new features. But, for those who’ve gotten their hands on Google’s latest phone, there’s now the opportunity to see what that release will be like before it happens — and without a ton of risk, since the beta has entered its “platform stability” phase.

The Pixel 5A launched in late August, and the beta hasn’t been officially available on it until now. While the phone’s launch has been limited — it’s only being sold in the US and Japan — anyone who’s picked one up can now play with the new version of Android before it officially releases. If you’re like me, running the beta could be a way to get some experience with a new release before it officially launches and you start getting questions about it from family members.

Android 12 brings big UI changes that may prompt questions from less techy family members

For this specific release, that experience may be useful. Android 12 is a big UI redesign (at least on Pixels) with a theming system, a new widget system, and a different location for smart home controls and Google Pay. Though the OS’ official release is imminent, when you’ll be able to install it depends on your phone’s manufacturer. If you’re a Pixel 5A owner, though, or you have any of the other supported phones, you can follow our guide on how to install the beta to get Android 12 as soon as you’d like.