Android 13 could land even sooner than the Google Pixel 7

A Google Pixel 6 Pro in someone's hand, displaying the number 13
A Google Pixel 6 Pro (Image credit: Future / Google)

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will almost certainly be the first phones to ship with Android 13 on board, but some older phones might actually get updated to Android 13 before these handsets launch, as we’re likely to see the next Pixel models in October, while Android 13 now looks almost certain to arrive in September.

The latest evidence for that comes from Google’s August security bulletin, which – as spotted by Droid Life – notes that Android 13 “will have a default security patch level of 2022-09-01.”

Given that Google releases security patches every month, that suggests Android 13 will launch in September, since otherwise, it would presumably have a default security patch level from another month.

That said, this is for the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) version, which is not the version that’s pushed to most smartphones. That can sometimes come later, but in most years Pixel phones get their update on the same day as the AOSP version, so if you have a Pixel 6 or another Pixel phone that’s still supported, then there’s a very high chance you’ll get Android 13 in September.

Exactly which date it will arrive is less clear, but Droid Life speculates that we could see Android 13 on September 6, as Google often pushes updates out on the first Monday of a month, and while September 5 is that Monday, that’s also Labor Day, so shifting it to the Tuesday would make sense.

Of course that’s just speculation for now, and while Pixel owners might see Android 13 then, most other handsets will get it weeks or even months later, as is typical with Android updates.

An image showing the Android 13 roadmap

(Image credit: Google)

Analysis: lots of evidence for September

This is compelling evidence that we’ll see Android 13 in September, but then a September launch always looked likely.

The biggest previous evidence of this came from Google’s Android 13 roadmap, which for a long time has suggested September would be when the finished version would land. Technically September isn’t named, but given the spacing on the chart, it looks like September was the target, as you can see in the image above.

The only real evidence that we wouldn’t see it in September is that Android 12 didn’t land until October of last year, but Android 11 and Android 10 both landed in September of their release years. So September looks very likely, putting it head-to-head with iOS 15.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.