Google releases Android 12 Developer Support builds so devs can test old software without bricking their phones

It is an outdated OS with a more recent, safer bootlader

Android 13 has been out for a few weeks now, however for any builders seeking to proceed working with Android 12, it got here with a little bit of a shock. Due to a vulnerability present in an older bootloader model, (*12*)Android customers can’t downgrade their units as soon as they’ve upgraded, conserving them on the newest OS for good. Fortunately, for builders caught without entry to final 12 months’s model, Google has an all-new replace that permits testing out apps and video games without operating on an unsafe bootloader.


Right now, Google uploaded new Developer Support variations of Android 12 and 12L for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Professional, and Pixel 6a. These updates aren’t supposed for common audiences — you will not discover them on the corporate’s system picture web site — however are as a substitute meant to mix older builds of Android with an up to date bootloader, one which is not vulnerable to that vulnerability that requires anti-rollback measures within the first place.

In line with Google, any mannequin within the Pixel 6 sequence operating Android 13 can set up both the Android 12 or 12L Developer Support pictures, formally circumventing the downgrade block put in place earlier this month. These builds are supposed to match the expertise seen on some other Android 12 machine — say, that of a Pixel 6 person who has but to hit the replace button. Nonetheless, Google consists of a number of caveats and warnings, together with the next:

  • Developer Support builds are for builders solely and are not appropriate for common use.
  • Gadgets utilizing developer help builds do not obtain OTA safety updates like different units, and Developer Support pictures aren’t rebuilt with the newest safety fixes. Solely an up to date bootloader model is included, with its personal safety fixes and an incremented anti-rollback counter.
  • Developer Support builds aren’t Compatibility Test Suite (CTS)‑accepted, however they’ve handed preliminary testing and supply a secure set of APIs for builders. Apps that rely upon CTS-approved builds or use SafetyNet APIs may not work usually on Android 12 Developer Support builds.

As Google mentions within the listing above, neither construct is predicated on the newest safety patch. The Android 12 picture consists of February’s fixes, whereas the Android 12L replace is predicated on July’s enhancements. Each dates are the ultimate safety patches issued previous to an API stage soar.

If you happen to’re a dev without a Pixel 6 sequence machine, otherwise you’re a daily person pissed off with Google’s newest OS, you are still out of luck relating to downgrading again to Android 12.

Thanks: Eduardo