The Google Pixel 6a is the company’s latest foray into the mid-range territory. As usual, the phone undercuts its competitors with a flagship-grade camera and the clean software experience. With both officially out today and shipments for pre-orders underway, Google has uploaded all the tools, files, and documentation needed by aftermarket developers interested in running custom software on the Pixel 6a.
If you’ve already bought a Pixel 6a (code-name: “bluejay”) and started experimenting with it, the stock software is now available for download, in the event you mess something up and need to go back to square one. Right now, you can download the day-one update build with June 2022 security patches, but only for the Japanese and the Verizon variants. Nonetheless, we’ll be seeing new images and OTA updates arrive each month as Google gets started with the phone’s regular security patches.
Factory images can be installed over any prior version, but you need an unlocked bootloader. The OTA packages, on the other hand, can upgrade your device from a previous official build, and the bootloader can be locked.
What about Android 13 Beta?
Unfortunately, Google has yet to declare the Pixel 6a eligible for the Android 13 beta program. You can, however, unlock the bootloader and flash an official GSI build to get an early taste of Android 13.
Kernel Source Code and Device Tree
The kernel source code and device tree sources are up for grabs, so developers can soon start building TWRP and custom kernels for the phone. If you want to build a fresh system image from scratch, or like to kickstart the porting job for AOSP-based custom ROMs, you don’t need to wait much, because Google has released the driver binaries corresponding to the factory images as well.
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