Google I/O 2021 is upon us, and it’s raining Android 12 builds. We’re getting treated to Android 12 Beta 1 today, an upgrade from the previous Developer Previews, and OEMs are also invited to the party now. Snapdragon 888 is the flavor of the season, and OEMs like Xiaomi, OPPO, Realme, OnePlus, and Vivo are all bringing along their flagships to the Beta 1 party. ASUS is invited too, as the company has confirmed that it will also release an Android 12 Beta 1 build for the new ASUS ZenFone 8.
Much like the other OEMs, ASUS will be distributing the Android 12 Beta 1 under the broad Developer Preview Program which allows OEMs partners to participate and allow users on their devices to experience the new OS update before it reaches the average user.
The beta release won’t be available for the ZenFone 8’s larger sibling, the ZenFone 8 Flip. For the ZenFone 8, the update does not include a new version of ZenUI and is instead closer to pure AOSP. The update will be distributed in the form of a fastboot package on ASUS’ website, and interested developers will be able to sideload it onto their device. Do note that this build is intended for developers and skilled early adopters only — expect bugs and rough edges, as the build is intended to showcase the new base Android OS update and the changes it brings along. If you’re a consumer looking to install it on their daily driver, we’d advise you to wait for a more stable release to come along in the future.
The ASUS ZenFone 8 launched earlier this month. Coming along with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, this fairly compact and competitively priced device is promised two OS updates from ASUS. This Android 12 update will be counted in this quota once the beta build reaches stability and rolls out officially to consumers. ASUS has not provided any timeline for the stable rollout, but we expect it to happen either later in the year or early next year.