Google has mostly maintained secrecy over its upcoming Pixel line, in spite of leaks and rumors that pop up online all the time – very few which have been at all confirmed. What we know for sure is that the release date will be the fall of 2021 in the U.S and later on in other locations.
Keep in mind however that we are facing a chipset shortage at the moment, so even these confirmed dates might end up being pushed back.
We have information on the design of the phones and some leaked specs, but not much about what’s going on on the software side. Luckily for us, the fourth beta release of Android 12 just went live a day ago.
This release is a pretty big deal as it means that Android 12 is finally reaching platform stability. Google mentioned that it was planning for this to happen around August, and here we are – this means that everything has been progressing without a hitch. This is the last beta before the official release.
Google wrote on the Android developer’s blog that the newest update will be assisting app developers in preparing for Android 12: “Android 12 includes a milestone called Platform Stability to help you plan your final testing and releases. This milestone means that Android 12 has reached final internal and external APIs, final app-facing behaviours, and final non-SDK API lists. We expect Android 12 to reach Platform Stability at Beta 4 in August 2021. From that point, you can expect no further changes affecting your apps.”
While we expect Android 12 to bring along a handful of changes, what is more interesting about it at the moment is the fact that this fourth beta contains some details about the Pixel 6, hidden in the code.
One of them is the code string “gn1_wide_p21”, where the GN1 might mean Samsung’s 50MP camera we’ve seen on a couple of Vivo phones. The ‘wide’ bit most likely is a reference to the lens angle, while ‘p21’ simply means the 2021 Pixel 6.
If this is true, then it would mark a pretty big jump from the 12MP cameras we’ve seen on the Pixel 6’s predecessors.
We have the “g5123b” string as well, which is assumed to refer to the modem inside the Google Tensor chip. None of this is confirmed however, though it is believed the modem is based on the Samsung Exynos Modem 5123, the same 5G modem that has been used on the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy Note 20.
It has sub-60GHz and mmWave 5G support but we can’t tell if Google plans to ship the Pixel 6 with this particular modem globally.
We still have to wait for a while until we can see if this information was interpreted correctly, until then, since Google is keeping silent, we’ll have to rely on upcoming rumors and leaks.