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Pixel 6 owners, beware before you install Android 13

Pixel phone owners were given first dibs on Android 13 yesterday, but the invite came with a discreet warning – there’s no going back.

On all devices running the Google Tensor chip – meaning the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6a – there’s no route back to Android 12 once the upgrade has been installed, even if you completely flash the device.

A note on Google’s developer website explains the new software has a boot loader update that prevents rolling back if the update has been side loaded onto the phone. However, that also applies to the over-the-air update too.

“Warning: The Android 13 update for Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 6a contains a bootloader update that increments the anti-roll back version,” the webpage reads. “After flashing an Android 13 build on these devices you will not be able to flash older Android 12 builds.”

So, the long and short of it is, if you have a Pixel 6 series phone then you better be sure before you upgrade to the new operating system. If you’re good to go, here’s how to install Android 13 on a Pixel phone right now. Owners of third-party manufacturers will need to wait until later in the year.

Interestingly, some Pixel owners have been offered the chance to upgrade to Android 12 instead of Android 13, in a strange bug. The issue was spotted by r/GooglePixel users on Reddit who received notifications for the current version rather than the new one.

“Does anyone else have the problem that the update that’s supposed to be to Android 13 actually says it’s gonna update to Android 12, despite it being the current version of the phone?” Asked one user. Plenty of others responded in the affirmative.

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