Google started rolling out Android 13 yesterday for Pixel users. The update arrived as a big surprise, after all, Android 12 came only in October. We assume that the company managed to reconquer the rhythm of updates now that the pandemic has eased. Furthermore, Android 13 is a smaller update when we look back to the Android 11 to Android 12 upgrade. The last year’s update started a revolution with Material You and Monet. Now, Android 13 refines the experience and brings some new interesting additions. Pixel users were eagerly waiting to receive their Android 13 OTA notification, but apparently, Google was rolling out an Android 12 update to some of them.
A bunch of Pixel users started to report from the r/GooglePixel subreddit that they got an Android 12-based update instead of the new one. Furthermore, the update was not a small one, it was one update with 2 GB of Size. Although most of them were expecting an update to Android 13, this Android 12 update brought July Security Patch and a fix for the GPS issue. It looked like a big mistake made by Google, but apparently, this is not really the case. The reports came from Germany and UK and came mostly from Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners, but older devices also received the Android 12 update.
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The Android 12 patch was not a mistake after all
The search giant explains that the Android 12 update was intentional. It’s just a coincidence that the update is landing at the same time that some users are getting Android 13. The company sent a statement to the 9to5Google website. According to the company, the update was rolling out to users running an old version of Android 12. The messaging in the Android 12 update notification was confusing with the timing of Android 13. The company is changing the message to improve clarity. Furthermore, the update is separate from the Android 13 release. It will continue to reach some Pixel smartphones in the next few weeks, depending on the carrier. Users will receive a notification once the OTA becomes available. The company encourages users to check their Android version and update to receive the latest software once it becomes available.
So you want to update straight to Android 13 and skip this boring patch? Then there is a workaround. According to some users, Pixel owners just need to opt into the Beta channel. This will download the stable Android 13 release. After that, they can opt-out. If the Android 12 notification keeps popping out for you, then you’ll have to wait.
Worth noting, that once you go to Android 13 with your Pixel 6, 6 Pro, or 6a it will no longer be possible to revert to Android 12. Google is introducing an anti-rollback feature for devices running on the Tensor platform.