Android 12 source code is now available, signaling a final release soon

Android 12 source code hit today. Jack Wallen believes the final release will come to your Pixels soon.


Image: sdx15/Shutterstock

Update: As of 3 p.m. Eastern, Google has made the AOSP available for Android 12, which means the OTA upgrade for Pixel devices should hit any time.

Back on Sept. 12, XDA's Mishaal Rahman Tweeted an image that indicated Oct. 4 as the official release of the Android 12 AOSP. He (and many others) took that as a clue the official release of Android 12 would also come on that day (which happens to be today).

Rahman then verified that tweet on Sept. 30 to say a document was released for enterprise devices that confirmed the Oct. 4 date for the Android 12 source code release. The release of the source should also coincide with the release of Android 12 for Pixel devices.

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I woke up this morning anxious to see if any of my Pixel devices had any updates queued up. Sadly, my Pixel 5 informed me my system was up to date at Beta 5. My Pixel 4 did have an update, but that was because (since updating my Pixel 5 to Android 12 beta), I hadn't been using the phone as often.

So, as it stands, I've yet to see any proof that today, Oct. 4, is the official release date for Android 12. 

However, that doesn't mean it won't happen. Every time an official Android release has been announced, I wake up excited about installing it on my devices, only to be disappointed Google's release clock doesn't coincide with my internal alarm.

Thus, the waiting game begins. That waiting game can get frustrating. So, I decided to take a step to see if the Android AOSP for version 12 had been released. For those who don't know, the AOSP is the Android Open Source Project and marks the release of the official open-source code of Android. 

To do this, I had to install repo with the command:

sudo apt-get install repo -y

Once installed, I configured git with:

git-config --global USER
git-config --global EMAIL

Where USER is a real name and EMAIL is a legitimate Google address.

Create a new directory with:


Change into the new directory with:


Update repo with:

repo init -u

Check out the master branch:

repo init -u -b master

Finally, download the Android source with:

repo sync

The downloading of the source took some time, so either stare at the screen or step away and take care of another task. For me, as the source downloaded, I picked up my Pixel 5, went to Settings | System | System update and checked again. 


So, I continue writing.

One of the things I've noticed with the beta releases of Android is that the OS is better at automatically informing you there's an upgrade. I could tap the check button every second of every day of an official release, but the upgrade won't become available until Google is convinced my device is worthy of accepting all of its wonder and magic.

SEE: Android 12 beta 3 now available, bringing the release closer to the Platform Stability milestone (TechRepublic) 

And that's just it, there always seems to be some kind of magic going on under the surface. Google can say, "Android 12 official release will start rolling out to Pixel devices on Oct. 4, 2021, at 12:01 a.m.," but that doesn't guarantee your device will be notified there's an update at 12:01. It could happen that day. It could happen the next day. And no one seems to know exactly how that particular flavor of magic works.

Still waiting for that source to download. 

Eventually, in the WORKING_DIRECTORY, you'll find a .repo subdirectory that contains yet another sub-directory, named platform. Issue the command:

less platform/build/core/ | grep PLATFORM_SDK_VERSION

You should see an indicator of the release version you just downloaded. As you can see, in the code I downloaded (Figure A), the SDK is listed as 30. That's Android 11. For Android 12 that would have been version 31.

Figure A


Clearly, the Android source I downloaded was not version 12.

To be fair, I downloaded that source around 8:30 a.m. Eastern. At any point during the day, the Android 12 source could be made available, at which point the full release for Android 12 will follow.

Suffice it to say, the official release of Android 12 is upon us. I wouldn't be surprised if my Pixel 5 popped up a warning today to tell me the update was ready to be installed. If not today, my guess is it'll happen sometime this week.

Fingers crossed.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....