Following the first few betas in May and June, today, Google delivered the Android 12 beta 3 release, inching one step closer to platform stability and a global launch of its next mobile operating system.
The third beta release introduces scrolling screenshots, a feature we’ve seen on other devices from Samsung for several years, faster display auto-rotate, and a new on-device search engine. The Android 12 beta 3 also adds more “final system behaviors,” refines the new Material You experience, and introduces additional “Platform Stability” and final APIs for app developers.
Here’s what you need to know and how to try it today. Keep in mind that it’s still a beta, so expect to experience a few bugs or issues.
What’s New in Android 12 Beta 3?
On-Device Search (AppSearch)
The biggest change in the 3rd beta is support for AppSearch. Android 12 features an on-device search engine users can access to easily and securely search through data stored in their apps. Like how settings search can find specific device settings, AppSearch can search the entire device and all app data to help you find things.
This next feature isn’t new to the world of Android, but it’s new to stock Android and will now work with all devices on Android 12 and supports nearly all apps. With Android 12, you’ll be able to extend screenshots that scroll down an entire page, becoming one large image. Scrollable screenshots are great for emails, documents, web pages, and longer content that can’t fit on a single display. This will work for most apps without developers needing to make any significant changes.
Faster Display Auto-Rotate
Apparently, Google will tap into the front-facing camera with Android 12 and use it to recognize when the device screen needs to be rotated more accurately. As a result, users can expect faster and smoother auto-rotate.
Android 12 for Games
With Game Mode APIs, you can react to the players’ performance profile selection for your game – like better battery life for a long commute or performance mode to get peak frame rates. These APIs will be tied to the upcoming game dashboard, which will be available to select devices later this year.
Beta 3 for Android TV
Final APIs & Official SDK
While “platform stability” won’t be reached until the last beta in August, Android 12 beta 3’s arrival today introduces the final APIs for developers. That way, app creators can start testing their apps against the final version coming soon. Platform Stability means Android 12 app-facing surfaces and behaviors are now final, including SDK and NDK APIs, system behaviors, and restrictions on non-SDK interfaces that may affect apps.
How to Get the Android 12 Beta 3 Update?
Google’s Android 12 beta is available on more phones than any prior release, and it’s tempting to try it early. Now that we’re on beta 3, you’ll probably have an enjoyable experience.
Traditionally, Android betas are only for Google’s Pixel phone line, and the easiest way to get it on your Pixel 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. Here are the compatible phones so far, but they might not all be offering this 3rd release right away.
We’ve added relevant download links for each device’s Android 12 beta (if available), but some of them may not offer the 3rd release for a few weeks. You’ll want to ensure you’re downloading the right file for anything that isn’t a Pixel.
Those with a Google Pixel already on the second beta will get an automatic over-the-air update to Android 12 beta 3. Or, join the beta, and you’ll get the update sent to your phone.
Android 12 Release Date & What’s Next
Google says the last beta for Android 12, the beta 4 release, will come in early August. If you’re considering installing the 12 betas on your primary phone—your daily driver—we recommended waiting for the 3rd release. With final APIs and stability near, it’s probably stable enough now for daily use. Still, use caution, as it’s a beta.
Once the 4th and final beta and “release candidate” arrives next month, we’ll be ready for the official release date for everyone. Google hasn’t provided an exact date for the Android 12 release, but expect it sometime in late August or September.