How to install the Android 12 developer preview on your Pixel phone

Here’s how to use the Android Flash Tool to test drive the next major update of Android right now!

Google has just released the first Android 12 developer preview for testing. The new OS is already packed with new features like improved gesture navigation, more detailed notifications, an updated UI, smoother animations, enhanced security, and more. It makes sense for people to be anxious to get their hands on the software, and if you own a Pixel phone, you’ll be able to if you follow the steps listed below.

Note: Neither I nor Matridox are responsible for any damage done to your phone by installing this early version of Android 12. Install it at your own risk.

Compatible devices

Here’s a full list of the phones that are compatible with the Android 12 developer preview.

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

How to install

There are a couple of ways to install the Android 12 developer preview: one uses the Android Flash Tool while the other requires you to have ADB tools installed on your computer. For this guide, I’ll be sticking with the Android Flash Tool method.

  1. Ensure that your Pixel phone is running Android 11 and has an ample amount of charge. This process might take a little while depending on the model you have.
  2. On your Pixel, enable USB Debugging in Developer options.
  3. Download and install the Android USB Driver on your computer if you haven’t already.
  4. Once the driver’s installed, plug your Pixel into your computer via USB.
  5. On your computer, visit https://flash.android.com/preview/dp1 (I recommend doing so through Google Chrome).
  6. Wait for the Android Flash Tool to identify your device. Once it does, select it from the list.
  7. Given the unique link, the Android Flash Tool should know you want to install the first developer preview of Android 12. If it doesn’t, the software should be listed in a sort of drop-down.
  8. After you select the software, simply follow the prompts on the web page to continue the installation. This will install the software without erasing your data in the process since it’s installing an OTA.
  9. Once the process is complete, simply unplug your Pixel from your computer and begin exploring Android 12.

The entire process is pretty straight forward. If you want to avoid using the Android Flash Tool, my buddy Rich Woods at Neowin has a great write-up on manually flashing a factory image.

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