Google Pixel 8a will get another Pixel 8 flagship feature after launch

Google Pixel 8a in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel 8a isn't even on sale yet, but it's looking like it'll gain Google's AI wallpaper generation feature in its first software update, according to findings by Android expert Mishaal Rahman, writing for Android Authority.

Rahman points to a Verizon support page (screenshot below) as proof. This mentions a "B1" version of the current software running on the Pixel 8a units given to journalists, an update which will bring the latest Android security update as well as AI wallpaper.

A screenshot of a Verizon update notice for the Google Pixel 8a, describing the contents as a security update and an added AI wallpaper feature

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority)

It's quite a coup for the Pixel 8a to gain access to AI wallpaper. It's currently only seen on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, as well as a few other Android 14-powered phones in slightly different guises.

Google Pixel 8 Pro showing off Android 14 AI wallpaper generator.

(Image credit: Future)

Since this is effectively a post-launch update, there's no guarantee we'll see AI wallpapers directly mentioned in any hands-ons or reviews of the Pixel 8a. But we'd assume it'll behave exactly like the Pixel 8 series' system, using a fill-the-blanks approach with several pre-set prompts to then deliver a few cloud AI-generated options for you to choose from. We've got instructions on how to use it here if you want to study prior to your own Pixel 8a arriving.

You can learn more about the Google Pixel 8a in our recent hands-on with the phone. With it offering a whopping seven years of updates, a new design, a new chipset and the same low price, it's safe to say we're quite impressed with it so far. It's a strong upgrade to the outgoing Pixel 7a, which is number 1 on our best cheap phones guides, at least for now.

If you're craving more Google announcements than just the Pixel 8a, then you're in luck. We should hear more at Google I/O next week (May 14th), which we hope include details of Android 15, the Pixel 9 series and the Pixel Fold 2.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.