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Google sent wrong OS version to update older Pixel phones. What now?

Android Update
© TY Lim / Shutterstock.com

Google pushed the wrong buttons and prompted users to install a major new Android 12 update. Unfortunately, that update proved to be a carrier specific version of the OS, with no apparent changes, confusing users.

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TL;DR 

  • Pixel users worldwide were notified that an update was available.
  • The update brought no visible changes, but installed a Verizon specific version of Android 12.
  • Google has pulled the update and reassured it will fix the issue.

Earlier this week, Google seemingly rolled out a new update for older Pixel users worldwide. The update was considerable in size — over 1.5 GB — and brought no apparent changes to their devices. The mysterious update baffled users who gathered in Reddit and opened tickets in the Google Support page to figure out if anything had changed.

Later, it was discovered that the update was actually a full re-installment of the OS to the Verizon specific version of Android 12. It is not clear as to what is actually different with the carrier specific version, since users are not reporting any changes to their devices other than the version number of the OS.

Pixelwrongupdate9to5google
This does look similar to the original update users got a month ago./ © 9to5Google

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were the only devices to not receive the prompt, with Pixels from Pixel 3A all the way to the Pixel 5 being affected. The prompt itself raised suspicion among cautious users who noticed the similarities it had to the one that was sent when their devices where updated from Android 11 to Android 12 earlier last month. 

What to do now?

Thankfully, those who postponed updating their devices, no longer see the notification and Google has removed the update from the update menu. On the other side, users who updated their devices have been reassured, that a future update will revert their devices back to the correct, carrier or unlocked version Android 12.

So, if you installed the mysterious update, there is not much to worry about, but if you notice any changes, please let us know in the comments.

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