Android 12 might debut on October 4th

Android 12 has taken longer to bake than many of its predecessors, but the end might finally be in sight. XDA editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman claims Google plans to release the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) version of Android 12 on October 4th. As the company often releases polished public releases at the same time as AOSP, that hints Pixel owners may get their upgrade starting that day.

If the timing holds up, this also sets expectations for the Pixel 6 launch. Google can't really ship its new range-topping phones without Android 12, so it's unlikely to formally debut the Pixel 6 before that date. We wouldn't be surprised if the hardware only surfaced sometime later in October.

Be prepared to wait if you aren't using a Pixel. While some phone makers tend to be quick and release major Android updates within weeks, many others take months. Samsung didn't start deploying Android 11 until December 2020, three months after Google officially released the OS. As much as Google has done to shorten update delays with efforts like Project Treble, it still takes time for companies to both adapt Android to heavily-customized interfaces and test the software with customers and carriers.

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Android 12 has been released to the Android Open Source Project

Following a preview at I/O 2021 and multiple betas since then, the next version of Google's mobile operating system is ready for prime time. Android 12 is now officially available. But if you own an Android device, don't get excited just yet. With today's announcement, Google is uploading the source code to the operating system to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). As things stand, the update isn't publicly available on any current devices. But that should change soon.Google says it will start rolling out Android 12 to Pixel devices starting sometime in the “next few weeks,” with availability on Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo and Xiaomi devices to follow later this year. Once the OS finally makes it to your device, you can look forward to checking out Google's new Material You design language, an updated privacy dashboard that includes a timeline of all the data the apps on your phone have accessed, the ability to capture scrolling screenshots, a new one-handed mode and more. Until then, the wait continues.    

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The final Android 12 beta is here

You have one last chance to try Android 12 before its official debut. Google has released the fifth and final beta for Pixel phones (including the Pixel 5a) and several third-party devices, giving you one more look before the finished version arrives. Beta 5 is a release candidate build with the usual last-minute fixes and performance improvements, so don't expect major changes from beta 4 or even beta 3.The completed software is due sometime in the “weeks ahead,” Google said. If history is any indication, only Pixel owners will get Android 12 first — you'll have to wait for third parties to customize and deploy their releases in the months to come.The Material You design scheme remains the most conspicuous change in Android 12, including an overall interface refresh, more fluid animations as well as color themes that adapt to your wallpaper. You'll also see more privacy features, including a dedicated Privacy Dashboard as well as toggles and in-use indicators for cameras and microphones.There are subtler under-the-hood improvements, too, such as camera-based auto-rotation and an on-device search engine that helps find content within your apps. This isn't a gigantic leap in some respects, but it could help revitalize Android if you've felt that previous releases were a little stale.

Android 12 is almost ready as latest beta focuses on platform stability

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