Ahead of the end of their guaranteed updates in May
Google surprised us with an all-new beta for its current Pixel devices today, including a preview of what’s to come in the forthcoming June Feature Drop. Unfortunately, Pixel 3a and 3a XL owners likely noticed they were left out of this build, and now we know why. With the end of guaranteed update support rapidly approaching for the first A-series phones, Google is removing them from the beta track.
According to Google’s official account on the Android beta subreddit, Pixel 3a and 3a XL devices currently enrolled the program are receiving an update that serves as an offramp to stable builds. Android 12 QPR3 Beta 1 serves as a preview for June’s Feature Drop, an upgrade that those phones will not be receiving after support ends in May. Instead, Google seems to be ensuring that users can take advantage of March, April, and May security patches without getting stuck in a discontinued beta, though the company’s language surrounding a “final update” is undoubtedly confusing.
If you’re the owner of a Pixel 3a or 3a XL and you’ve been enrolled in the Android 12 beta program, this is effectively the end of the road. Today’s update for those phones, SP2A.220305.012, is the same version that arrived for everyone else on Monday, complete with March’s security patch and other various bug fixes.
Really, the writing was on the wall with last month’s Android 13 DP1 announcement, which did not include the Pixel 3a series. Like the Pixel 3, it might feel like the end is coming too soon. Still, with the Pixel 6a on the horizon, we hopefully won’t have to wait too long to see what’s next for the A-series.
Seems to happen on phones with a notch or punch hole camera
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