Google Pixel 6 teased with Android 12, but sounds like a release date is still far away

Three Google Pixel 6 side-by-side, rear view
(Image credit: Google)

If you've been following the Google Pixel 6 news, you'll probably be really desperate for some actual new information about the phone, and so Google's newest tease of the device probably won't provide what you need.

On its Instagram, Google shared an image of loads of Pixel 6 phones, clearly inspired by the artwork for Drake's new album Certified Lover Boy. Each device has a different background and widgets.

It looks like each phone is running Android 12, the company's newest operating system update that's currently only in beta, as each seems to be showing Material You. Material You is a way of choosing the design of your phone's interface and seeing system-wide color, font and icon style changes as a result, which the Pixel pictures show.

We've analyzed the widgets, and it doesn't seem like Google has hidden clues to an eventual Pixel 6 release date in them. The clocks show different times, and while the weather is 72 degrees on each, it's hard to analyze that to ascertain a specific date.

No, we'll just have to keep biding our time for more concrete Pixel 6 release information.

Analysis: definitely not coming soon

In faint text under the image, it's possible to read "This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission or other regulators. This device may not be sold or otherwise distributed until required legal authorizations have been obtained".

This implies the device isn't coming straight away. That's backed up in the comments of the Instagram post where, in response to various queries, Google has responded that the phone is coming in "fall".

That's something the company has said before, but quite a long time ago - the reiteration now, with fall just around the corner (in some parts of the world anyway), makes it clear the phone isn't coming soon.

Some rumors suggested the Google Pixel 6 would land on September 13 - since fall won't have officially started then, that's looking increasingly unlikely.

We'll just have to cross our fingers and wait, then.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.