Google gave us an extensive look at Android 12 recently during the official keynote at Google I/O 2021. At the same time, they updated the OS from Developer Preview to Beta status. Android 12 Developer Preview Program provides all the features needed to improve the compatibility and development of your application for the next version of Android. Xiaomi has partnered with Google to bring the sweetness of Android 12 to some of its flagship Mi phones. The Xiaomi phones are getting the Android 12 update. Those phones include the Xiaomi Mi 11, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, the Xiaomi Mi 11i and the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro. The beta requires Xiaomi users to flash the preview build and only then users will be able to use it.
Android 12: Refreshed UI
Google has announced a new design style for Android 12, called Material You, which is a rethink of the whole UI across the operating system. The current beta brings more rounded buttons, more varied colors, smoother motion and animations, and much more. The company calls it color extraction, where you can pick a wallpaper and the system will automatically apply the dominant, complimentary and best looking colors from it to the rest of the UI, including the notification shade, the lock screen, and volume controls. So everything is much more unified this time, something which Google was keen to highlight. Before, the color scheme and even the fonts would look mismatched, but here, everything has been redesigned to look as unified as possible in Android 12. Widgets see a redesign too, looking much more rounded this time. Due to iOS 14 showcasing widgets last year, it only made sense for Android 12 to see a redesign in this area too, where its appearance will match the color extraction you’ve picked. The Quick Settings panel has also had an overhaul, with Google Pay and smart home controls added to it.
Android 12: Privacy and Security
Google have made it a point this year of making sure that privacy is at the center of Android 12. The company repeated the point of privacy being at the forefront this year, and that includes Android 12. The Android Private Compute Core is the engine behind Android 12’s privacy features, making sure that the apps and the phone are following the privacy settings enabled by you. To start with, the new privacy dashboard gives you an overall view of apps using the phone’s location, camera, contacts, and much more. However, a nice touch here is a simple overview in the form of a pie chart, of what has been accessed by the apps over the last 24 hours. The notification center also has a quick access to disable any features of the phone that an app is using. For example, if Facebook is using the microphone while you’re using another app, this part of notification center will show you explicitly that Facebook is using the microphone. Pressing this will disable the use of it to Facebook, and other apps if you wish.
Android 12 Other Features
When held down, the power button will now bring up Google Assistant, a much easier method of summoning the service for a query when needed. A new built-in remote is also now standard in Android 12. So if you have a TV that runs on Android, or just a Chromecast, you can use your phone to browse through your favorite shows. Alongside this, a new feature called Car Key enables you to unlock your compatible smart car with your phone. This will allow you to unlock, lock and even start the engine from your smartphone. It uses UWB (ultra-wideband) technology, meaning that you can walk up to your car and it’ll unlock, without you even having to take your phone out. You’ll also be able to share digital access to your vehicle with others – allowing you to lend your car to a friend without giving them a physical key and allowing them access for a period of time. In a slight nod to its competitor, Google is also touting better support for third-party app stores. Google’s password manager is also being redeveloped, with a cross-platform integration across your Google apps and devices. And photo modes will support a new format – AVIF, which promises similar compression to JPEG but at better quality, as seen in the examples the Android team gave (above) in an online developer session. Note the difference in cloud detail. Android 12 also promises to make your device faster and more responsive. Google claims that it reduces the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reduces the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%, all of which should also mean improved battery life.
Before You Begin
- Please don’t forget to backup your data before upgrading to Android 12.
- Then please download the Android 12 Beta build for Xiaomi Mi 11, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
- Please opt-in to the Android 12 Beta build via the fastboot method.
Points To Note
Please note that the Beta build is not the final version, and some features may still be under development.
Here is a list of known issues you might encounter with the Android 12 Beta
Xiaomi Mi 11
- Users have to swipe all the way to the top to unlock the device.
- There might be instances where the system restarts automatically.
- Unable to use Emergency calls when the screen is locked.
- Information (such as time and battery) display bug in Status bar.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
- Users have to swipe all the way to the top to unlock the devices.
- The touch point in the bottom navigation bar is a bit lower than the finger position.
- Small window may pop up when making screen-off calls.
- Information (such as time and battery) display bugs in Status bar.
- Gallery may stop running when editing videos.
If you would like to opt-out or revert back to factory settings, you can do so through the Fastboot mode:
- Turn off the device.
- Press the Volume-down button and the Power button at the same time for 4-5 seconds to enter Fastboot mode.
If you have any feedback, do let us know via Android Beta Feedback app that’s included in the Developer Preview.
To learn more about Android 12 Developer Preview Program, please visit the Google Developers page.
Android 12 beta ROM
The Android 12 beta ROM comes in the form of a .tgz extension, commonly referred to as a Fastboot ROM. To flash this ROM, you also need to have a Windows PC and phone with an unlocked bootloader. Instructions to unlock the bootloader of your phone can be found on your device’s subforums on XDA.
To flash the downloaded file, follow the instructions below:
- Download the MiFlash Tool on your PC that can be found here. After downloading, extract the tool and install it. It is also advised to have ADB and Fastboot installed.
- Reboot your phone into Download mode by powering it off and then pressing both the Power and Volume Down buttons together.
- Connect your phone to the computer using the USB cable.
- Download the Fastboot ROM .tgz file and extract it and make sure you remember the extract location, as you will need to paste the address into MiFlash Tool. Make sure there are no spaces in the extract location path.
- Run MiFlash Tool on your PC and in the address bar within the tool, paste the extract location from Step 4.
- Click “Refresh” within MiFlash and the app should automatically recognize your device.
- Click “Run” within MiFlash to flash the ROM file to the device.
- The progress bar within MiFlash will turn green, which indicates that the ROM was successfully installed. Your device should boot automatically to the new version.