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Android is the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, running on billions of smartphones around the world. As a result, even the tiniest of changes in the OS has the potential to affect millions of users. But because of the way that Android updates are delivered, it’s debatable whether these changes actually make a difference. Despite that, we’re always looking forward to the next big Android update in hopes that it brings significant change. Speaking of which, the first developer preview for the next major update, Android 12, is right around the corner, and it can bring about many improvements. In case you missed our previous coverage, here’s everything we know about Android 12 so far. Android 12 will first make an appearance as Developer Preview releases. We expect to get a couple of these, with the first one, hopefully landing on Wednesday, 17th February 2021. The Developer Preview for Android 11 began in February 2020, a few weeks ahead of the usual release in March, which gave developers more time to adapt their apps to the new platform behaviors and APIs introduced in the update. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t completely blown over in several parts of the world, we expect Google to follow a longer timeline this year as well. As their name implies, the Android 12 Developer Previews will allow developers to begin platform migration and start the adaption process for their apps. Google is expected to detail most of the major platform changes in the previews to inform the entire Android ecosystem of what’s coming. Developer Previews are largely unstable, and they are not intended for average users. Google also reserves the right to add or remove features at this stage, so do not be surprised if you see a feature in the first Developer Preview missing in the following releases. Developer Previews are also restricted to supported Google Pixel devices, though you can try them out on other phones by sideloading a GSI. After a couple of Developer Preview releases, we will make our way to Android 12 Beta releases, with the first one expected either in May or June this year. These releases will be a bit more polished, and they will give us a fair idea of what the final OS release will look like. There may also be minor releases in between Betas, mainly to fix any critical bugs. Around this time we will also start seeing releases for devices outside of the supported Google Pixel lineup. OEMs will start migrating their UX skins to the Beta version of Android 12 and they will begin recruitments for their own “Preview” programs. However, these releases may lag a version behind the ones available on the Google Pixel. Again, bugs are to be expected in these preview programs, and as such, they are recommended only for developers and advanced users. After a beta release or two, the releases will achieve Platform Stability status co-existing alongside the Beta status. This is expected to happen around July-August this year. Platform Stability means that the Android 12 SDK, NDK APIs, app-facing surfaces, platform behaviors, and even restrictions on non-SDK interfaces have been finalized. There will be no further changes in terms of how Android 12 behaves or how APIs function in the betas that follow. At this point, developers can start updating their apps to target Android 12 (API Level 31) without being concerned about any unexpected changes breaking their app behavior. After one or two beta releases with the platform stability tag, we can expect Google to roll out the first Android 12 stable release. This is expected to happen in late-August or September. As is the case, Google’s Pixel devices are expected to be the first to get Android 12 stable releases. For non-Pixel phones, we expect to see wider public betas at this stage. The exact timeline for the same will depend upon your phone and its OEM’s plans. A good rule of thumb is that flagships will be prioritized for the update, so if you have a phone that is lower down the price range, you can expect to receive the update a few weeks or months down the line. The complete 2 part report is posted on OUR FORUM.