The final Android 12 beta is here

Next stop: the official release.


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.