Google’s confirmed the next version of Android which means we’re starting to get questions about the Samsung Galaxy Android 12 update.
Samsung’s still focused on getting Android 11 and One UI 3.x updates out to Galaxy phones and tablets, but that will change later this year when it begins working on Android 12 updates for Galaxy devices.
Samsung is far more communicative about software these days, but it’ll take months for the company to outline specific plans for Android 12.
The company will remain quiet, but we can put together an early Galaxy Android 12 roadmap using confirmed information, rumors and traditions.
This roadmap will help you set proper expectations as we push toward the inevitable release of Samsung’s version of Android 12 and a new version of One UI.
In this guide we’re going to take you through what you should know about Android 12 if you currently own, or if you’re planning to buy a Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8 or another Samsung device.
We’ll take you through what we know about Android 12’s features, release date, beta, and what Samsung owners need to know as we push through 2021.
Let’s start with the software rolling out ahead of Samsung’s Android 12 updates.
Samsung Galaxy Monthly Updates
Samsung’s currently rolling out its February security update.
The February update is currently rolling out to owners of the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note FE, Galaxy A50, Galaxy A31, Galaxy A8 (2018), and Galaxy A01.
If you want to learn more about the February security update’s contents, and the contents of Samsung’s other monthly updates, head on over to the company’s website.
As a reminder, here’s the current breakdown of Samsung’s current Android security update coverage:
Current Models for Monthly Security Updates
- Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Fold 5G, Galaxy Z Fold2, Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy S10 Lite
- Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Galaxy S21 5G, Galaxy S21+ 5G, Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy Note9, Galaxy Note10, Galaxy Note10 5G, Galaxy Note10+, Galaxy Note10+ 5G, Galaxy Note10 Lite, Galaxy Note20, Galaxy Note20 5G, Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
- Enterprise Models: Galaxy A50, Galaxy XCover4s, Galaxy Xcover FieldPro, Galaxy Xcover Pro
Current Models for Quarterly Security Updates
- Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8 Active
- Galaxy Note8
- Galaxy A2 Core, Galaxy A10, Galaxy A10e, Galaxy A10s, Galaxy A20, Galaxy A20e, Galaxy A20s, Galaxy A30, Galaxy A30s, Galaxy A40, Galaxy A50s, Galaxy A60, Galaxy A70, Galaxy A70s, Galaxy A80, Galaxy A90 5G
- Galaxy A01, Galaxy A01 Core, Galaxy A11, Galaxy A21, Galaxy A21s, Galaxy A31, Galaxy A41, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A51 5G, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A71 5G
- Galaxy A02, Galaxy A02s, Galaxy A12, Galaxy A42 5G
- Galaxy M10, Galaxy M10s, Galaxy M20, Galaxy M30, Galaxy M30s, Galaxy M40
- Galaxy M01, Galaxy M11, Galaxy M21, Galaxy M31, Galaxy M31s, Galaxy M51, Galaxy M12
- Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019), Galaxy Tab A 8 (2019), Galaxy Tab A with S pen, Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020), Galaxy Tab A7, Galaxy Tab Active2, Galaxy Tab Active Pro, Galaxy Tab Active3
- Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Tab S6 5G, Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Tab S7+, Galaxy View2
- W20 5G, W21 5G
- Enterprise Models: Galaxy A8 (2018)
Current Models for Other Regular Security Updates
- Galaxy S8 Lite, Galaxy Note FE
- Galaxy A6, Galaxy A6+, Galaxy A7 (2018), Galaxy A8+ (2018), Galaxy A8 Star, Galaxy A8s, Galaxy A9 (2018)
- Galaxy J2 Core, Galaxy J3 (2017), Galaxy J3 Top, Galaxy J4, Galaxy J4+, Galaxy J4 Core, Galaxy J5 (2017), Galaxy J6, Galaxy J6+, Galaxy J7 (2017), Galaxy J7 Duo, Galaxy J7 Prime2, Galaxy J7 Pop, Galaxy J7 Top, Galaxy J7 Max, Galaxy J7 Neo, Galaxy J7+, Galaxy J8
- Galaxy Tab A (2017), Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018), Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S4, Galaxy Tab E 8 Refresh
You can expect most of these devices to get updated with new software long before Samsung’s version of Android 12 starts to roll out.
Samsung recently announced plans to keep select Galaxy phones and tablets updated with security patches for four years.
The company says by “extending support for security updates delivered on a monthly or quarterly basis, Samsung is giving users peace of mind knowing their data is protected for as long as they use their Galaxy device.”
So while some devices won’t get upgraded to Android 12, they’ll still get regular, and in some cases irregular, security updates in 2021 and beyond.
Samsung Galaxy Android 12: What’s New
Samsung’s version of Android 12 will look a lot different than the version Google releases for Pixel devices because it will utilize the company’s One UI.
We haven’t seen any definitive information yet, but you can expect Samsung to trot out One UI 4.0 alongside Android 12 later this year.
Samsung’s One UI upgrades typically deliver design changes, enhancements for current features, and new features for newer and older devices alike.
We don’t know anything about Samsung’s version of Android 12 yet. However, we do know quite a bit about Google’s plans for Android 12 and you can expect many of these features to emerge on board Samsung’s version of Android 12 for Galaxy devices.
The current list of Android 12 features includes:
Google will likely add and subtract features during the beta process so the final version of Android 12 could look a lot different than the version developers are using right now.
These Galaxy Devices Will Get Android 12
Samsung used to keep Galaxy phones and tablets updated with major Android software updates for two years. Fortunately, the company has come to its senses and changed its policy.
The company says it’s now committed to providing three years of major software upgrades going forward. This is obviously a huge development as it means Galaxy owners can hold onto their devices for a lot longer.
Initially it looked like this change would only apply to higher profile devices, but according to Samsung, lengthier support will also be extended to other devices. Here’s the full list:
- Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 Lite.
- Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20 5G, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Note 10 5G, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 Lite, and upcoming devices.
- Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Fold 5G, Galaxy Fold, and upcoming Z series devices.
- Galaxy A71 5G, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A51 5G, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A90 5G, and select upcoming A series devices.
- Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G, Galaxy Tab S7+, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Tab S6 5G, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, and upcoming Tab S series devices.
If your device is on this list, you should get Android 12 in 2021 or 2022. If it isn’t, you may find yourself stuck on Android 11.
Likewise, if Samsung hasn’t confirmed Android 11 for your phone or tablet, you won’t get upgraded to Android 12. That means devices like the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 will be left behind.
You can expect Samsung to bring Android 12 to its flagship devices first though older flagships, mid-range devices, and budget devices shouldn’t be too far behind.
Samsung Galaxy Android 12 Beta
Samsung will almost certainly launch a Galaxy Android 12 beta later this year though owners of devices from other Android OEMs will likely get access to the software first.
Right now, Google’s hosting its Android 12 Developer Preview. This isn’t a full blown beta for Pixel phones. Rather, it’s aimed at folks who develop Android apps.
Google’s Android 12 beta will start up sometime in May or June and stretch into August. And while Pixel devices will likely get the software first, you can expect other devices to take part as well.
Companies that took part in Google’s Android 11 beta included OnePlus (OnePlus 8 series), Xiomi (Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro, and the POCO F2 Pro), and OPPO (Find X2 and Find X2 Pro).
As for Samsung, it typically hosts its own beta program for Galaxy devices. And as of right now, that’s what you should expect for Android 12.
Samsung used to keep its Galaxy Beta program limited to flagship models, but in recent years the company has brought mid-range phones into the fold.
So while we don’t know how the Samsung Galaxy Android 12 beta process will work exactly, you can expect the Galaxy S21 series and upcoming 2021 flagships to take part. You can also expect the Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy Note 20 to take part in the beta.
Samsung’s Android betas are usually limited to select regions. Big markets like the United States are always on the list, but smaller markets are typically left out.
Samsung Galaxy Android 12 Release Date
When will Samsung release its first Android 12 update? Let’s start with what we know.
Samsung probably won’t beat Google to its own release which means the soonest we’ll see Samsung release Android 12 is in August. Google says the final version of Android 12 will drop for Pixel phones sometime in August.
Samsung typically launches its Android beta program a few weeks after Google releases the final version which means we’re probably looking at a launch in September or October.
If that holds, you can expect the first official Samsung Android 12 updates to roll out in November or December after their stint in beta testing.
It’s worth noting that Samsung’s sped up its Android roll out process so it’s possible Android 12 moves out even faster than Android 11 did.
That said, while a lot of Galaxy models will probably get Android 12 in the second half 2021, many others will have to wait until 2022.