Finally, the Android 12 Beta 3.1 goes live for the eligible Pixel devices after the release of beta 3 on the Google I/O 2021 Developer Conference event in Mountain View. Meanwhile, Google has also released the Android 12 Beta 3 GSI (Generic System Image) packages for non-Pixel Android devices that support Project Treble.
If you’re one of the Android users who is eager to get an early taste of Android 12 then you can follow this guide. Google has initially released the Android 12 Developer Preview 1 for its eligible Pixel devices in February 2021, followed by DP2, then DP3 respectively.
As Google has announced Android 12 Beta 3.1 for eligible Pixel models, we’re pleased to tell you that the GSI packages of the latest Android OS version are also available to download officially. Now, if you don’t know about GSI, take a brief idea below.
What is GSI in Android?
A GSI (Generic System Image) package is obviously a system image with adjusted configurations for Android devices that’s compatible with Project Treble support. That means Google has made it possible for all the non-Pixel Android smartphone users to flash the GSI package according to the device architecture and enjoy the latest Android OS version.
So, even if your device doesn’t support the latest Android OS officially, you’re still eligible for it. To be very specific, you’ll require an unlocked device bootloader irrespective of which Android device model you’re using.
Whereas it’s also worth mentioning that flashing the Android GSI package on your handset will perform a factory reset of your device completely.
So, you may lose your important data if you don’t back up your device before flashing it. Now, without further ado, let’s jump into it.
As mentioned on the official Android Developers website, Android 12 GSI binaries have the following GSI-specific known issues that you should keep in mind:
- Phone Audio: While using the stock phone dialer app, you may not be able to hear any audio on the device. It’s because of a change in the telephony service installation location in Android 10.
- Power Cycle: Restarting the GSI binary might fail on some devices. So, you may need to reboot the device into the recovery mode > erase user data and perform a factory reset. Once done, make sure to reboot the device.
- System partition size: GSI + GMS file size (images named gsi_gms_arm64-*) might be bigger than the default dynamic system partition size on your device. So, you may need to delete some of the non-essential dynamic partitions such as the product partition, and then re-flash the GSI again to fix this problem.
Download Android 12 GSI (Generic System Image)
Here we’ve shared all the download links regarding your device architecture.
Beta 3.1 GSI:
Not available yet!
Beta 3 GSI:
Beta 2 GSI:
Note: Make sure to grab the specific GSI package according to your device’s architecture. In order to check which architecture your device has, you can run the following command on your Windows computer after connecting your handset to it using the USB cable.
adb shell getprop ro.product.cpu.abi
Once you’re aware of your device’s architecture, just download the particular GSI package from the link above.
Steps to Install Android 12 Beta 2/3 GSI
Before heading over to the GSI flashing steps, make sure to follow all the requirements properly for a successful flashing process.
- This GSI file and guide are only applicable for Project Treble-supported devices.
- Make sure to check whether your device supports Project Treble or not.
- Maintain at least 50% of battery charge.
- Take a full data backup of the device without Root before doing anything.
- Your device bootloader should be unlocked. [Required]
- Enable OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging on your device.
- Download and Install the Android USB Drivers on your PC/Laptop.
- A PC/Laptop and a USB cable are required. (for Fastboot method)
- Install the ADB & Fastboot tool for Windows/MAC. (for Fastboot method)
- First, you’ll need to perform a factory reset on your phone. [You can also reboot to Recovery mode and perform factory reset]
- Keep in mind that OEM Unlock and USB Debugging are already enabled on your phone. If not, do that too.
- We assume that you’ve already installed the ADB & Fastboot Tool on your PC.
- Now, transfer the downloaded Android 11 R GSI file to your computer and extract it. Make sure to copy and paste the system.img and vbmeta.img files into the ADB & Fastboot folder for ease.
- Simply connect your Android device to the PC/Laptop by using the USB cable and authorize the device (if prompted).
- Now, launch a command prompt on your PC from the extracted GSI folder by typing cmd in the address bar and pressing the Enter button on your keyboard.
- Restart your device into bootloader mode or fastboot mode by typing the following command in the command prompt and press the Enter key:
adb reboot bootloader
- This will reboot your phone into Fastboot mode.
- Then you’ll have to disable Android Verified Boot (AVB) by running the command below:
fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img
- Next, type in the following command and hit the Enter button to delete the existing system partition on your device:
fastboot erase system
- Use the following command to install the Android 12 GSI package:
fastboot flash system system.img
- The installation process will start and will take some time. So, wait for it.
- Once the installation process is done, you will need to enter the following command to wipe the user data partition:
- Finally, restart your device by executing the command below:
- Enjoy! The first boot may take some time after the OS upgrade. Now, your device should boot into the Android 12 Beta 2/3 system successfully.
Although we won’t recommend you to flash the initial build of Android 12 right now as it may contain multiple bugs or stability issues, it fully depends on you whether you’ll wait for the stable release or not.
That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. Feel free to ask in the comment below for further queries.
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