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How to install Android Q beta on your Pixel device

Google announced Android Q beta 1 update for the entire Pixel lineup. We were expecting that 3rd party OEM will also get this update, but they may be in the lineup for Android Q Beta 2. In the meantime, if you own a pixel device you can install Android Q beta 1 on your device.

List of Supported Devices

We were expecting that Google will give Android Q beta update to its latest 3rd generation and last year’s 2nd generation pixel devices. However, we are surprised to see that it is also updating its 1st generation pixel devices. The devices which support Android Q beta right now are as follows:

  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel

Caution:¬†This is an early beta version of Android Q and it cannot be used on a daily basis, as it contains a lot of bugs. Because of this, we don’t recommend you to install it on your device which you use on a daily basis.

There are three different methods to install Android Q beta on your Pixel.

Method 1: Via OTA Update through Android Beta Program

This is the simplest method to install Android Q beta on your device. With this method, you don’t require to unlock your bootloader or following any time-consuming process. This method requires you to just sign up for the Android Beta Program and wait for the OTA(Over The Air) update in the phone. This method will also don’t wipe your data up, but still, we suggest you make a backup of your data.

  1. Go to Android Beta Program website via this link. Click on the devices tab, there you will see all your eligible devices on which you can install Android Q beta.
  2. Below the eligible devices, you will find an option of Opt-in. Click the Opt-in button under the device on which you want to get the OTA update.
  3. After clicking the Opt-in button you will see terms and conditions for opting in. Read the Terms and Conditions and click on Join Beta to accept the Terms and Conditions.
  4. Now, move to your pixel device and check if any update available. Go to ‘Settings -> System -> Advanced -> System Update’ to check if an update is available or not. If the update is available, it will start downloading and installing automatically.
  5. After the installation is complete, your device will restart and now you have the Android Q running in your Pixel Device.

Method 2: Flashing Android Q via Bootloader

Sometimes, it takes time to get an OTA update. If you do not want to wait for the OTA and you are OK with wiping your data, then you can go with flashing Android Q via Bootloader. This will install a fresh version of Android Q beta on your device.

Here’s what you need to get started

  • A Pixel Device
  • Android Q System image
  • ADB and Fastboot Tools installed on your computer
  • Unlocked Bootloader on your phone

Android Q System Image

Before you get started you will require the system image file for your device. You can download the system image from this link. You will find a list of downloads as you see in the screenshot below

  • Save

Select your device and click on the download link next to it. Accept the agreement and the system image will start downloading.

ADB and Fastboot Tools

You will require ADB and Fastboot tools installed on your computer in order to start the flashing process. To download the latest version of ADB and Fastboot tools you can visit this website.

Unlocking your Phone’s bootloader

Let’s start the process of unlocking the bootloader of your phone. The first thing you should do is to backup all your data because unlocking the bootloader will wipe the data in the phone. This step does not require technical knowledge and is easy to do. So here are the step-by-step instructions to follow:

  1. You need to turn on developer options. For that go to ‘About Phone’ in settings and tap ‘Build Number’ seven times.
  2. Go to developer options and turn on ‘USB Debugging’ and ‘OEM Unlock’.
  3. Plug your Pixel device to your computer.
  4. Go to the folder where you installed ADB and Fastboot tools and open command window by holding shift and right clicking of the mouse and select ‘Open PowerShell window here’ on Windows and ‘Terminal’ on Mac.
  5. Check that your pixel device is connected or not by entering the command ‘adb devices’.(You may get an authorize request on your phone, tap on Yes)
  6. Now boot your phone in bootloader mode, enter the following command
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. After your device restarts make sure fastboot recognize it. To do that, enter the following command
    fastboot devices
  8. Now to unlock the bootloader, type the following command
    fastboot flashing unlock
  9. You will get a confirmation popup. Press the volume up button to highlight the YES and then power button to start the process of unlocking the bootloader of your phone. This will also wipe the data on the phone.
  10. When the process of unlocking will finish the phone will again boot into bootloader. Just give the following command to finish the process
    fastboot reboot

You have successfully unlocked the bootloader of your phone.

Now your phone is ready to flash Android Q beta 1 update

  1. Connect your pixel phone to the pc and start your phone in bootloader mode.
  2. Test that your phone is connected properly by typing the command
    fastboot devices
  3. Go to the system image file which you downloaded earlier and extract the file using any extraction tool.
  4. After extracting you will find another zip file in it, extract it too.
  5. Copy all the contents of that zip file and paste in the ADB and Fastboot Tools folder.
  6. Run the file flash-all.bat. This will start installing Android Q beta 1 update on your phone.
  7. It completes automatically and your pixel phone with Android Q is ready to use.

If you encounter some problem¬†while running the flash-all.bat then don’t worry you can still flash it. Just follow the following steps:

  1. Make sure your phone is connected properly with your PC.
  2. Flash the bootloader by typing the following command
    fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader file name>.img
  3. Now type the command
    fastboot reboot-bootloader
  4. Now to flash the radio, type the command
    fastboot flash radio <radio file name>.img
  5. Again type the command
    fastboot reboot-bootloader
  6. Now it’s time to flash the image, type
    fastboot flash -w update <image file name>.zip
  7. Reboot your device, enter the command
    fastboot reboot

You have successfully installed Android Q beta 1 update on your Pixel phone using bootloader method.

Method 3: Install Android Q beta via ADB Sideload

You can sideload the OTA file to your Pixel phone via ADB. In this method, you don’t have to unlock your bootloader and don’t require to follow a tedious process.

You can sideload the OTA image file to your phone by following these steps

  1. Head over to this link and download the OTA update file for your Pixel phone. Click on the link next to your phone name and it will start downloading.
  2. Connect your device to a PC or Mac, and reboot your phone in bootloader mode.
  3. Select the ‘Recovery’ option by navigating through volume key and when it gets highlighted press the power button to open it.
  4. Now Press the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously¬†and select the option “Apply update from ADB”.
  5. Now go to your computer and enter the following command
    adb sideload <OTA filename>.zip
  6. This will install Android Q beta update on your Pixel phone.

Experience Android Q on your Pixel

Again, this is the early beta version of Android Q and currently, it has lots of bugs in it. So we don’t recommend you to use it for daily purpose. You can install it to experience the new UI and features of the new Android.

By the way, check out the best features of Android Q beta 1 update.

After following the above methods you are ready with Android Q on your phone. Experience the new features of Android Q and tell us the feature you found interesting in the comments below.

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