Google rolled out the very first Android 12 Developer Preview earlier this year in February. As the year progressed, the company quickly transitioned to the Beta channel, where we could spot more of what Android 12 would really be. Last month, the company rolled the Android 12 Beta 4 followed by a hotfix 4.1 update. At that time, we thought that Beta 4.1 would be the last release before the stable update, but we were absolutely wrong. Today, Google is rolling out the Android 12 Beta 5 update but makes it clear that the full rollout is just a few weeks away from now.
Android 12 Beta 5 is the so-called “release candidate” version that should be almost good to go. Perhaps, Google is trying to collect a last round of feedback before the stable release. This latest version also picks up support for the brand new Pixel 5a smartphone. So it’s the last chance to enter the beta-testing program before Android 12 full rollout.
Google has been sticking with a September release schedule for newer Android updates for quite some time now. Both Android 10 and Android 11 updates arrived in the beginning of September. Apparently, things didn’t go so well with the Android 12 update. It should reach smartphones, or at least, Google smartphones, by the end of September this time around.
While the Android 12 update is exciting for Android enthusiasts and Pixel smartphone owners, it’s not a big deal for users that have a device from an Android OEM. These smartphone makers will take a couple of months to bring their respective skinned versions of Android 12. Even those who stick with a vanilla-like approach shouldn’t be able to deliver the full update at this month. Of course, the Android 12 rollout from Google is still important one time that it determines for most of these companies that Android 11 is a thing of the past and they should focus in the next firmware version.
In the past few years, a new Android update didn’t carry much relevancy for owners of devices from third-party brands. However, in recent years, Google has made some moves to reduce Android fragmentation by forcing companies to update their devices. The search giant also sets some deadlines forcing companies to launch new devices with the latest Android version. This has greatly reduced the fragmentation issue in recent years. Of course, certain companies like Samsung also had a change in their policies regarding updates.
Android 12 probably is the biggest update since Android 10, and possibly since Android 9 Pie. The new update changes several aspects of the software design introducing the Material You update. The update also comes with some new good features such as a long-screenshot mode and one-handed mode. We expect the full rollout to happen in the end of this month.