Google today is rolling out Android 12 beta 2, Following last month’s release of the public beta. The second beta release introduces a new Privacy Dashboard, updated Wi-Fi UX interface and moves us closer to the global launch later this quarter. Here’s what you need to know and how to try it today.
The Android 12 beta 2 adds more “final system behaviors,” refines the new Material You experience and introduces additional “Platform Stability” for app developers. That said, it’s still a beta, so expect to experience a few bugs or issues.
How to Get the Android 12 Beta 2 Release?
Google’s Android 12 beta is available on more phones than ever before, making it tempting for many to try out.
Normally, Android betas are only for Google’s Pixel phone line, and the easiest way to get it is by going to google.com/android/beta. However, after the successful beta last year with Android 11, the Android 12 beta has a huge list of supported devices. We expect the list to grow, but here are the compatible phones so far.
We’ve added relevant download links for each device’s Android 12 beta (if available), but some of them may not offer the 2nd release immediately. You’ll want to ensure you’re downloading the right file for anything that isn’t a Pixel.
Those with a Google Pixel device already on the first beta will get an automatic over-the-air update to Android 12 beta 2. Either way, remember to proceed with caution.
What’s New in this 2nd Beta of Android 12?
A New Privacy Dashboard
First up is a new privacy dashboard that builds on the changes we saw from the first beta. Google’s integrated an entire section in settings for user privacy. Tapping on a section like ‘Location’ will give owners a detailed breakdown of what apps accessed their location, what time, and for how long. That way, you can adjust permissions accordingly, quickly.
Microphone and Camera Updates
This privacy change extends to the rest of the software, too, with new mic and camera toggles. Along with indicators on the home screen and notification bar when a phone’s microphone is being accessed, the 2nd beta adds a quick setting toggle to switch it off instantly. With this change, you can kill the connection to your microphone or camera, then dig into settings to see which app did it so you can adjust the permissions.
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Basically, a quick on/off switch for the camera and microphone. When you switch the camera off and then open an app that uses the camera, it’ll be a black screen until it’s re-enabled.
Enhanced Wi-Fi Interface
Google’s also integrated a new “Internet panel” of sorts into the connectivity and Wi-Fi section across the status bar, quick settings pulldown, and in the main settings menu. This new menu makes it quick and easy to switch between internet providers or troubleshoot connection issues.
Of course, being the second beta, Google made several changes to improve performance, security, and fix bugs or issues from the first release. You can check Google’s release notes for more information, but expect improved stability, better battery life, and more apps that should work with the second Android 12 beta.
Android 12 Release Date and What’s Next
Google says the next big update for the Android 12 beta will come in July, the 3rd beta. If you’re considering installing the 12 beta on your primary phone—your daily driver—I would recommend waiting for that 3rd release.
Then the 4th and final beta or “release candidate” will come out sometime in August ahead of the official Android 12 release date around the globe. Google hasn’t provided specific dates, but Android 11 arrived in September, so it may come around the same time period.