Solved: Google Pixel 4a launch date teased by easy-to-crack puzzle

Google Pixel 4a
(Image credit: Google)

After months of uncertainty, Google has teased the launch date for what almost certainly is the long-awaited Google Pixel 4a: Monday, August 3.

The date was concealed by a simple puzzle on a new page in the Google store: by tapping the six color blocks to match those in the official Google logo (blue, red, yellow, blue, green, red) and they flip to reveal the words: “The Google Just What You’ve Been Waiting For Phone” along with the date of August 3.

The ‘wait’ reference could be a jab at the phone’s delayed release: we first expected the Pixel 4a to be announced at the since-cancelled Google IO 2020 event, and then heard rumors of make-up launch dates that came and went. But this is the first we’ve seen any official reference to a release date, and we’re all but sure it’s for the Pixel 4a (rather than the Google Pixel 5, which is expected later in the year). 

There’s other text on the page, too, though its initial words – ‘Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet’ is the common first set of nonsense Latin text used as place-fillers – should tip you off that it’s all pretty incomprehensible with a straight translation. Instead, you’ll have to pick apart the wording, as faux-Latin phrases like ‘videus chatum,’ ‘lowlightena capturum,’ ‘blurtutate bokehus,’ ‘megapixelum,’ and ‘longlastingis batterum’ are strewn throughout.

A tradition of jokes and puzzles

Thankfully, the August 3 date wasn’t too tough to parse, but Google has a history of laying puzzles and breadcrumbs for its eager fans to follow and unravel. While most of these are teases, like posting a big number ‘3’ to hint at the then-upcoming Pixel 3, there have been far more intricate mysteries laid for the curious, like the hints dropped back in January for the first details of the (sadly cancelled) Google IO 2020. 

It’s helpful to consider precedent here and look around for other hints the tech giant might be dropping – like the header on the MadeByGoogle Twitter account, which has a conspicuous circle in its corner that could suggest a punch-hole camera, as noticed by The Verge. Even if the Pixel 4a is late to its own party, Google still seems in good humor enough to lead us around a scavenger hunt for Pixel 4a hints. 

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.