If you see a new update on your Pixel today, you probably shouldn’t download it.
It appears Google may have re-issued the Android 12 update to older Pixel phones — so far, everything from the Pixel 3a to the 5 (or 5a if you live in a market where that phone is available) appears to be affected. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, however, don’t seem to be. Worse, it looks like Google issued the U.S.-based carrier Verizon’s specific Android 12 updates to non-Verizon Pixel phones.
According to reports from 9to5Google and Android Authority, some users who have updated their Pixels with this new update now have build numbers matching the Verizon Android 12 update. Further, others examined the MD5 checksum (a string of numbers used to uniquely identify a file) and found it matches the Verizon update.
The main difference between the Verizon and non-Verizon variants likely comes down to radio bands. Android Authority notes that Verizon offers mmWave 5G on devices with hardware to support it. The U.S. carrier also uses a CDMA-based network while many other places use GSM. While installing the update may not break anything, it’s also probably better not to risk it.
Besides, the whole update totals over 1.5GB, which can be pretty large (especially if you pay by the gig for your internet).
It’s not clear how widespread the problem is, but some U.K. Pixel owners report receiving the update. Ultimately, if you have a Pixel and you get a prompt for a large Android 12 update, you probably shouldn’t install it.