It won’t take you long to wait for the full version though
Early adopters of the Pixel 6a will be excited to hear that they can double their bleeding-edge fun. Google has just added the Pixel 6a to its list of phones you can register to the Android beta program, and both OTAs and factory pictures for the new beta have been published. This gives the phone its first (and potentially last) beta before Android 13 is released.
There was no corresponding announcement for today’s news. Usually, Google highlights changes to the Android beta program at least in its r/android_beta subreddit, but the expansion to a new device happened without much fanfare. Sideloadable OTA images have been posted for the Pixel 6a on Android 13 beta 4.1, and I can confirm that device owners can opt-in to register the Pixel 6a on the Android Beta Program website – this Easier than flashing, and the preferred method of this late beta game.
ANDROIDpolice video of the day
Pixel 6a owners can opt-in to the Android beta program.
The Pixel 6a is still in a curious software state. The phone launched (and we reviewed it) with the April 2022 patch level. A new update, which is still in the process of rolling out to various carriers, only updates the phone to the June patch level. Reports indicate that the beta includes the even more recent July patches.
It’s all made more complicated by the impending Android 13 launch. Earlier today, Google published a security bulletin for Android 13. At the time of the announcement (on the first Monday of a month, when Pixel updates usually roll out) a lot of fans were anticipating a possible release this week or later. But the expected Pixel update, either Android 13 or only Android 12 with the August 2022 patch level, didn’t materialize today. The patch may just be delayed, which sometimes happens when the first Monday of the month is also the first day of the month, but I doubt it will still deliver Android 13 when it lands. Google mentioned in that security bulletin that Android 13 will have a September 2022 patch level, which indicates that a formal release may indeed be scheduled for next month – although an AOSP release could happen sooner.
While we’ve all been waiting for Android 13, Pixel 6a owners can get a taste of it a little sooner. The few reports I’ve seen indicate that you may have problems searching in Settings, but things are relatively stable, although the usual beta warnings apply: bugs do occur, good quality reports and feedback to Google app Provide logs in if you run into any.