Android 12: Release Date, Rumors, Features, and Supported Devices

Here's what you need to know about Android 12

Anticipated Android 12 logo

Google teased Android 12 in early 2021, and after a public beta, it's available on most newer Android smartphones.

When Was Android 12 Released?

Android 12 arrived on October 4, 2021. The company announced the public beta version during Google I/O in May 2021.

Looking at past Android release dates, September seems to be Google's preferred release date, but it's never firm.

Your phone model will determine exactly when you get the new version; Google Pixel phones always receive it first since Android is a Google product.

A collage look at Android 12 and how it will appear on phones.


How to Download Android 12

You download Android 12 like you would any other Android update. In most cases, you'll get a notification when the download is ready. You can also check for updates on most Androids by going to Settings > System > System Update.

You can join the crowd in testing out OS updates and providing feedback to Google. If you missed out on Android 12 beta, don't worry, there will always be another one. Here are some tips on using a beta version:

  • It's only available for Google Pixel phones.
  • Use a test device, not your primary phone. Bugs can still occur in public beta versions (the whole point is to get crowd-sourcing info on how well the software does or doesn't work), so you don't want to run the risk of trying it on your primary phone.

How Much Is Android 12?

The updated operating system will be free, as all other Android updates have been. Some phone manufacturers will push the update to your phone automatically, while others won't. The newer your phone, the earlier you'll get the update.

Android 12 Features

Android 12 looks different with an entirely new design that offers smoother animations, various colors, and oversized buttons.

The Android 12 Privacy Dashboard


Here's are the highlights:

  • Better power efficiency improves battery life and lets you access things more quickly.
  • Customization features let you apply themes and colors across the entire operating system.
  • App privacy is a vital piece of the update. A new Privacy Dashboard provides more transparency about how apps use your device; others will address cookies usage, how apps export information, etc. You'll be able to revoke permissions more quickly, too, and a new indicator light will show you when apps are accessing your microphone or camera.
  • Improved image quality via AVIF image support.
  • Improved media controls via the Quick Settings bar. Now you can choose which apps get the Quick Settings Media Control Panel.
  • Easier access to Google Assistant via the power button is an optional feature.
  • A new unified API lets you accept content from any source (i.e., clipboard, keyboard, drag, and drop).
  • Audio-coupled haptic feedback offers better gaming and audio experiences.
  • Gesture navigation is more straightforward and consistent from app to app, and the default will allow users to navigate their phone with a single swipe. This update includes improvements to one-handed mode.
  • Double-tap options let you tap the back of your phone to trigger actions. Here's what you can do with the double-tap gesture.
  • More modern-looking notification designs are easier to use, and offer more functions, including the ability to snooze notifications. It will also let you prioritize your alerts with a feature called adaptive notifications ranking.
  • A face-based auto-rotation feature lets you adjust how Auto-rotate works depending upon how your head is turned.
  • App-facing changes are opt-in instead of automatic to give you more time to get used to them.
  • There are improved Trash Bin management features to help you keep storage under control.
  • Android, in general, is optimized more effectively for better experiences across larger devices (like foldables, tablets, and televisions).

Android 12 Supported Devices

Google's Pixel newer line of phones will get Android 12 first; that's one of the perks of buying those phones. Newer Samsung and OnePlus phones will likely be supported by the end of 2021, with older phones from most manufacturers receiving the update in early 2022.

However, not all Google phones will update to Android 12, and manufacturers might skip the update for phones more than a few years old.

Here's what we know:

 Phone Model Receiving Update
Pixel 2  No
Pixel 2XL No
Pixel 3 line Yes
Pixel 4 & 4a line Yes
Pixel 5 &5a Yes
Pixel 6 Yes

The Latest Android 12 News

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are some of the latest stories surrounding Android 12 and Android in general:

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