Google Unexpectedly Rolls out Feature Drop Beta Build for Supported Pixel Phones

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 10 Mar 2022

Droid Android

One wasn’t expecting Google to roll out a Feature Drop beta build for Android Beta Program members, but it has. This means the search giant is expanding the program beyond Android 12L.

According to a new Android Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) Beta page, Google will use the beta feature drop update to test the June Feature Drop update before it rolls out to the masses. The name of the webpage suggests Google will release new Feature Drop builds every three months. Presently, the schedule for the beta build rollout hasn’t been specified.

The first Feature Drop beta is rolling out without any hype surrounding it. Anyone in the Android Beta Program running a compatible device is eligible to download and install the OTA update. The OS images are also available for manual download and installation in case you face issues with an OTA release. The update brings a new splash screen when you boot, a new battery widget, and unique custom stickers.

Another interesting change is that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are also eligible for the Feature Drop beta build today, although they haven’t received the March feature drop yet. Further, the Pixel 3a has been dropped from the list of supported devices, suggesting that it won’t get the June Feature Drop when it rolls out as a stable update.

That said, don’t confuse the Feature Drop beta with the Android 13 Developer Preview builds. The former will be a downgrade to Android 12 if you are already using the Android 13 DP1. AndroidPolice reports that if you install the new Feature Drop beta on a pixel running the Android 13 DP1, your phone will enter a boot loop, and the only route for recovery would be to wipe the device and start over. Nonetheless, some Pixel devices running Android 13 were prompted to download the new Feature Drop beta.

Hopefully, Google will stop prompting Android 13 DP1 users to download and install the downgrade Feature Drop build.

[Via AndroidPolice]