Skip to main content

Android 12’s second preview seems about as stable as its first [Updated]

After the first Android 12 developer preview was fairly stable, the second seems to be right along the same line. It’s an exciting time to see what Google has in store for this year’s big launch. Take this as your annual warning, though, that developer previews are not for the faint of heart as early builds of Android 12 aren’t particularly stable and are sure to have issues and bugs in tow. Here are the issues we’re keeping an eye on.

Biometrics are a mess

In the first Android 12 developer preview, the biggest issue we saw was with biometrics. We’d had a lot of trouble with a Pixel 4a and a Pixel 5 using biometrics, and the issue goes beyond just recognition. In my case, biometric prompts for apps such as password managers have been broken at times, and I also had several hours where the fingerprint sensor just wasn’t listening for input at all. Damien reported that his Pixel 5 was having similar issues, and re-registering his fingerprint only seemed to make things less reliable.

With the second developer preview, it seems that most of these issues have been resolved. We haven’t noted any major issues with our Pixel 4a or Pixel 5 this time around.

As with everything on this list, your results may vary greatly, but it seems something wonky is going on with biometrics at the moment. Notably, we haven’t flashed the developer preview on a Pixel 4/XL yet, so we can’t speak to how face unlock is performing.

App crashes are, of course, happening

A tale as old as time. If you install the Android 12 developer preview, prepare to see apps crash. This one seems more varied from person to person than ever, but we’ve definitely seen reports of people having trouble with apps as common as Twitter crashing on the developer preview.

Notably, on developer preview 2, things don’t seem to be much worse. We had some cases of apps crashing upon the first boot, but after a manual reboot things were working well.

Some UI elements aren’t compensating for the camera cutout

This is less of a usability problem and more of an irritating bug in Android 12. Someone working behind the scenes forgot that all of Google’s 2020 Pixels have hole punch camera cutouts in the top left corner, and as a result, the power menu just doesn’t compensate for it.

If you trigger the power menu, the now-more-useful emergency button will be cut out by hole punch. Obviously, that’s something we expect Google to fix before the final rollout.

This bug has not been fixed in Android 12 developer preview 2.

Google Pay is working!

In developer preview 2, shockingly, Google Pay is already working. Usually, Google waits a while to enable this on the beta builds, not even allowing it on the developer previews. It’s great to see this arrive so early, but again, don’t install this on your daily driver yet.

It’s never a good idea to use a developer preview on your daily driver

Looking back to previous developer previews, Android 12’s first release is remarkably stable, to be honest. However, it’s just a good rule of thumb to avoid running these early builds on your primary smartphone. If you’ve got an older Pixel sitting around that you don’t rely on daily, then sure, go ahead and give it a shot. But this is called a developer preview for a reason, and while the first developer preview is remarkably stable, subsequent releases likely won’t be. That’s the pattern we’ve seen in the past couple of years, too. The first developer preview was shockingly usable, but later releases caused awful bugs.

We’ll continue to update this article with other bugs that seem widespread as the developer previews and betas drop over the coming months.

What’s new in Android 12:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Ben Schoon Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to or encrypted to

Ben Schoon's favorite gear