With the release of Android 12 QPR3 Beta 1, Google began public beta testing for Android’s Quarterly Platform Releases or QPRs for short.
The beta, which was updated a few days ago to resolve bugs on the Pixel 6, didn’t include a lengthy changelog, but one useful improvement was discovered: Direct USB Access support on the Pixel 6.
Reliable sources inform that after Android 12L QPR3, Pixel 6 can use more USB devices
Freak07, an XDA Recognized Developer, reported on Twitter that the kernel in Android 12L QPR3 Beta 1.1 supports Direct USB Access. This feature enables the use of additional external USB DACs and 3.5mm headphone dongles, as well as the resolution of issues with audio applications like Tidal, Neutron, and USB Audio Player Pro.
Assuming Google does not alter its approach, this move should imply that the next big Pixel Feature Drop (currently scheduled for July) will increase support for USB audio devices on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Freak07 was also able to backport the kernel patch discovered in this month’s stable Android 12L/12.1 release, which fixes issues with Neutron Player and other USB audio apps.
If you have a rooted/unlocked Pixel 6 and want to try out the new USB capabilities without running QPR3 Beta 1.1 or waiting a few months, the current version of Freak07’s Kirisakura-Kernel custom kernel for the Pixel 6 series has the backported code.
Last week, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro received a single integrated update that included Android 12L, March security updates, Verizon C-Band 5G functionality, and the March Pixel Feature Drop. The other Pixel phones received the identical upgrade earlier this month, with the exception of C-Band 5G support.