Android 12 easter egg: how to summon the spots in the new software update

Android 12 on a Google Pixel 4a 5G
(Image credit: Future)

The newest beta of Android 12 - this is the fourth beta build, if you've been keeping count - finally introduces its easter egg, which was previously discovered in the operating system upgrade's code, but is now available to test.

Each numbered version of Android has its own hidden game or function that's usually discovered immediately after launch - Android 11 had a cute cat-collection game and Android 10 gave us a nonogram numbers puzzle.

Don't expect something so involving this time: the Android 12 easter egg just brings up some spots on your home screen. They tie into the Material You feature, which lets you design your home screen, font, icons and color scheme - the bubbles fit in with your background color, which is aesthetically pleasing, though they don't actually stay there.

It's not the most interesting Android easter egg we've ever seen, but we'll walk you through the steps on how to unlock it anyway, so you can find out for yourself.

How to do the Android 12 easter egg

Android 12 easter egg

(Image credit: Google)

As with all Android easter eggs, you start the breadcrumb trail by heading into your Settings app, which could be on your home screen or in the app drawer, then by scrolling to the bottom of the first list in the app.

Now, click About phone to bring up a list of details about your device. You'll want to find Android version here, which you should select. On the following menu, you'll also see 'Android version' as an option, and it should say 12 if you're on the right update tier. Keep pressing this 12 a few times.

The next step will trigger after a few taps - you'll be brought back to your home screen, but instead of seeing apps or a top bar, you'll just see a big clock.

You can change the time shown on the clock by dragging the minute hand - going a full loop will change the hour hand, like on a real clock. Keep rotating until both hands are on 12, pointed upwards (like the Android version) then lift your finger up from the screen.

Now, the clock should explode and turn into the Android 12 logo, with all the colored bubbles surrounding it. Congratulations, you've now experienced the Android 12 easter egg.

We actually had a bit of trouble getting rid of the bubbles - turns out you're not actually on your device home screen, so don't try removing the bubbles by tapping them, swiping them out or waiting for them to disappear. You're actually still in the Settings app, so press the circular home button at the bottom of the screen, or swipe up if you use gesture navigation, to return to the actual home screen.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.