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Android 12 Beta 5 is here. For those that haven't been following along at home, this is the last expected release before it hits stable and is ready for the masses — a so-called "release candidate" version that should be almost good to go. This latest version also picks up support for the brand new Pixel 5a, and it's your last chance to get those beta-testing toes wet before Android 12 is released. On that note, Google also gives us a hint about its schedule, promising that Android 12 is "just a few weeks away."
In its usual fashion, Google hasn't announced any new additions to Android 12 in this release other than what we already know about, highlighting changes for developers to take into account like the new privacy dashboard, privacy indicators, mic and camera toggles, clipboard access changes, and the stretchy new overscroll animation, among other changes. While the number of "hidden" features in Android 12 is dwindling, we may still see a few changes in Beta 5, user-facing or otherwise.
In its original schedule, Google didn't actually call today's version "Beta 5," it was simply labeled the release candidate build. Whatever you or Google call it, this is the last release before Android 12 rolls out. We urge developers that don't yet have their Android 12 rear in gear: Get it together. Dev-facing changes are final now, and in just a few weeks, your Pixel-owning customers will be upset if anything is broken.
Unsubstantiated rumors from spurious sources have claimed that Pixel 6 would land on September 13th. I'm not so sure about that, but we might see Android 12 land somewhere around then, as the date lines up approximately with Google's vague "few weeks" promise. Either way, it sounds like Android 12 will be available on Google's hardware before the month is up.
On that note, and as usual, today's release is rolling out for the Pixel 3 series and later, including the Pixel 4 series, Pixel 4a series, Pixel 5, and, for the first time, the Pixel 5a. If you've been hesitant to try Android 12 until now, this release candidate build is likely as stable as things will be before the final release, and you can opt-in over on the Android Beta Program site, though we may yet have a bug-fixing update as Google has done for several Android 12 releases. If you don't own a Pixel, Google says some partner companies like Sharp will also be rolling out Beta 5 soon. More information is available on a per-manufacturer basis here.