In February 2021, Google released the next version of the Android operating system, Android 12, along with various stages of its development, beta testing, and public release. At the same time, the American tech giant released the first Developer Preview of the Android 12 operating system, which allows Pixel users to understand and develop the ecosystem.
Over time, the search engine giant delivered three versions of Developer Preview with improved system performance and stability. However, Google recently launched its annual developer conference, better known as Google I / O, where it is expected to showcase the Android 12 operating system.
As per the schedule and Android 12 speculation, Google will release the public beta of Android 12 on Google I / O at any time, opening the door for OEMs to let their consumers try out the latest operating system. Android and help the company grow its skin.
Prior to the public beta, it looks like the official Android 12 Beta 1 Generic System Image (GSI) packages are now available for download. If you don’t know, GSI is a prebuilt system image that can be booted on devices that support Project Treble. (Credits – XDA Developers)
Put simply, with these generic system image packs, you can get Android 12 on a non-Pixel smartphone if your device supports Project Treble and your bootloader has been unlocked. As with any other custom image installation, updating a GSI will require you to factory reset your device.
What is GSI in Android?
A Generic System Image Package (GSI) is obviously a system image with adjusted settings for Android devices that are compatible with Project Treble support. This means that Google has allowed all non-Pixel Android smartphone users to update the GSI package according to the device architecture and take advantage of the latest version of the Android operating system.
So even if your device does not officially support the latest Android OS, it is still eligible for it. To be very specific, you will need an unlocked device bootloader no matter what model of Android device you are using.
While it’s also worth mentioning that updating the Android GSI package on your phone will perform a hard factory reset on your device.
Therefore, you may lose your important data if you don’t backup your device before updating it. Now, without further ado, let’s go.
As mentioned on the official Android developer website, Android 12 GSI binaries have the following GSI-specific known issues that you should be aware of:
Phone Audio: While using the original phone dialer app, you may not be able to hear the audio on the device. This is due to a change in the phone service installation location in Android 10.
Power Cycle – Resetting the GSI binary may fail on some devices. So you may need to reboot the device in recovery mode> erase user data and do a factory reset. Once done, make sure to reboot the device.
System partition size: The size of the GSI + GMS file (images named gsi_gms_arm64- *) may be larger than the size of the default dynamic system partition on your device. Therefore, you may need to remove some of the non-essential dynamic partitions, such as the product partition, and then update the GSI again to fix this issue.
Download Android 12 GSI (Generic System Image)
You should pick the appropriate version of the GSI binary based on your device’s architecture. To see which architecture your device has, run the following command: adb shell getprop ro.product.cpu.abi
Steps to Install Android 12 Beta 2/3 GSI
Before proceeding to the GSI flashing steps, make sure you correctly follow all the requirements for a successful flashing process.
- This GSI file and guide only apply to Project Treble compatible devices.
- Make sure to check if your device is compatible with Project Treble or not.
- Maintain at least 50% battery charge.
- Make a full backup of device data without root before doing anything.
- Your device’s bootloader must be unlocked. [Obligatory]
- Enable OEM unlocking and USB debugging on your device.
- Download and install Android USB drivers on your PC / Laptop.
- PC / laptop and USB cable are required. (for the Fastboot method)
- Install ADB and the Fastboot Tool for Windows / MAC. (for the Fastboot method)
- First of all, you will need to do a factory reset on your phone. [You can also reboot into recovery mode and do a factory reset]
- Please note that OEM unlocking and USB debugging are already enabled on your phone. If not, do it too.
- We assume that you have already installed 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 of use.
- Simply connect your Android device to PC / Laptop using the USB cable and authorize the device (if requested).
- 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 in bootloader or fastboot mode by typing the following command at the command prompt and pressing 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.
While we do not recommend updating the initial version of Android 12 at this time as it may contain various bugs or stability issues, it is completely up to you whether you are waiting for the stable version or not.
That’s it, guys. We assume this guide has been helpful to you. Feel free to ask in the comment below if you have any further questions.
What is GSI device?
A generic system image (GSI) is a system image with adjusted configurations for Android devices. It’s considered a pure Android implementation with unmodified Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code that any Android device running Android 8.1 or higher can run successfully.
What is a GSI used for?
Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) uses design informed by natural hydrologic systems to mimic pre-development hydrology. This is done while developing sites for economically and socially beneficial uses, such as housing, transportation infrastructure, commercial buildings, and institutional facilities.
What devices are eligible for Android 12 Beta?
Android 12 Beta is available for Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 4, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL devices. Alternatively, you can flash or manually install the latest Android 12 Beta build on your Pixel device.
Does a GSI need to be unique?
Unlike the primary key on a table, a GSI index does not require the indexed attributes to be unique.