As a bit of heads-up here, we wanted to let you know about a change that Google made to the bootloader in Android 13 for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a. In short, you won’t be able to flash back to Android 12 once you are on Android 13.
On the factory image page for Pixel devices, where you’ll find the new Android 13 update files, Google added a warning about how updating to Android 13 tweaks the bootloader’s anti-rollback version. That change will apparently make it so that you cannot flash back to an older Android 12 build should you need to for whatever reason.
Here’s that warning:
Warning: The Android 13 update for Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 6a contains a bootloader update that increments the anti-roll back version. After flashing an Android 13 build on these devices you will not be able to flash older Android 12 builds.
You’ll notice that no other phones besides the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a are mentioned and that must be because of the fact that all three run Google Tensor. All of the other Pixel phones run a Qualcomm chip and likely a different bootloader.
There aren’t going to be many reasons for you to rollback to Android 12 from Android 13, so this isn’t something you really need to worry about. Of course, Android 13 could present some new bug that drives you nuts and finds you temporarily looking for a return to Android 12. Google should only make things more stable as each update rolls out, though, and you’ll certainly not want to stay on Android 12 for long. For the tinkerers among us who go full rootbro from time to time, I guess this could be an issue.