Google just released the fifth and final Android 12 beta, so that means the next step is the final release of the updated phone software. In the last few years, the new Android version has dropped before that year's Pixel phone arrived, and if a leaked internal document is to be believed, that could hold true for Android 12 and the upcoming Google Pixel 6.
Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers posted a screenshot of a supposed document detailing when Google plans to drop Android 12 to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This is the public, open-source version of Android that anyone can take, tweak, and do whatever they want with.
- The best Android phones that will see Android 12
- Google Pixel 5a review: The budget phone to beat
- Plus: The under-display camera revolution is off to a crappy start
Google's own release of Android 12 will likely coincide with this AOSP drop. The document Rahman posted on Twitter also details deadlines regarding when devices with Google-approved Android 12 should ship. The document also outlines when the security patch support for Android 12 will end.
Interestingly enough, the document also shows previous Android versions going all the way to 9 Pie. The AOSP submission dates line up with the official launch dates for those versions, too. And if it's to be believed, then Android 12 could arrive as soon as October 4, 2021.
The Android 12 stable update may be released on October 4, as that's when Google plans to release to AOSP. This tentative release date was also mentioned by a 3PL. pic.twitter.com/PMN802gQj0September 12, 2021
All that is to say, this leak seems pretty legit. Not only is the document accurate in other regards, but XDA as a whole is pretty reliable when it comes to Android leaks and info. Rahman himself said that a third-party logistics partner also confirmed the October 4 date. I have little reason to doubt him.
Android 12 is major shake-up from Android 11, mostly thanks to its new Material You design language and theming system. The new version of Android will also feature a dedicated privacy dashboard, beating Apple to the punch of letting you see what permissions your apps are requesting and when they're doing so.