This was not a mistake. Google did intend to release this Android 12 update, though that caused some confusion since it coincided with the rollout of Android 13. The wording of the update notification will be changed to clear things up. Here is a statement from the company sent to 9to5Google:
On August 15, Pixel devices running an old version of Android 12 received a notification about a previously released Android 12 update with bug fixes. The messaging in the notification was confusing with the timing of Android 13, and is currently being changed for clarity.
This update is separate from the Android 13 release that started to roll out to all supported Pixel devices yesterday and will continue over the next few weeks, depending on the carrier. Users will receive a notification once the OTA becomes available for their device. We encourage users to check their Android version and update to receive the latest software when it is available for their carrier.
The original story follows below.
Google started updating supporting Pixels to Android 13 yesterday, but that’s not what some users are seeing – several users from the r/GooglePixel subreddit are reporting that they got an Android 12 based update instead.
It’s not a small update either but a fairly hefty 2GB download. It appears to be a recent update (early July, going by the version) that includes the July security patch and a fix for a GPS issue.
But it’s not the Android 13 update that people are expecting. So far there have been reports from Germany and the UK, mostly from Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners, but it is not limited to just those two. That said, it appears that the issue doesn’t occur all too often, but it is something to be aware of if you use a Pixel.
Some users have found a workaround – opt into the Beta channel, which will download the stable Android 13 release, then opt out. Still, if you’re seeing a notification for Android 12 instead of 13, it would be best to pause the update and wait a day or two until Google resolves the issue.