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Android 12 is rolling out now, but you may not be able to get it just yet

Android 12 will be hitting Pixel phones in the “next few weeks.”

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Every year, Google brings out the latest version of its mobile operating system, Android. This year, Android turns 12, with Google adding the source code for Android 12 into the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) so developers and device makers can get their hands on it.

Note that this isn’t Google putting Android 12 onto devices (yet), just making the code available for others to build on. That means this isn’t the version that will live on your smartphone or tablet, which will come later this year.

Google’s own Pixel line will get Android 12 “in the next few weeks,” possibly to coincide with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launch or retail availability, which is either October 19 or October 28, respectively.

If your smartphone isn’t from Google, you’ll be waiting even longer. Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi are all working on their own tweaks to Android 12, and they all say it will be ready later this year. That could be next month, or it could be much later in the year, depending on delays.

That’s all fairly normal for a big Android update, where Google goes first and then the rest of the Android manufacturers follow in their own time. What’s different this year is that the AOSP code release is usually at the same time as the update for Pixel phones. Google told XDA Developers that the delay is because it’s “putting the finishing touches on a special release with Pixel-exclusive and Pixel-first experiences on Android 12.”

Certainly sounds like the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be pretty special when they arrive. For everyone else upgrading to Android 12, it seems that’s going to be just as big. Google has made significant improvements to performance, privacy, the new Material You UI, and better tools for developers to improve the user experience.

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