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(Pocket-lint) - Google's next major smartphone operating system update - Android 12 - is in its final stage of public beta, and looks likely to launch on 4 October. 

According to Mishaal Rahman, XDA's Editor-in-Chief, Google is planning to release the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) to manufacturers on that day, which suggests that's when it could be released to the general public. 

The timing would certainly make sense given that each version of the public beta has been released roughly a month after the previous one. And with the fifth and final beta landing on 8 September, it would be a similar timeframe to the schedule over the summer. 

Google's latest version of Android is undoubtedly the biggest change to Android in years, featuring a hugely different graphical interface with much deeper customisation options and a new design language called 'Material You'. 

The new software has revamped widgets, a theming option which automatically adjusts your colours based on your wallpaper, a new one-handed mode and a better privacy dashboard. 

It was expected that the final public software would drop at some point near the end of September, and is certainly going to be the software that ships on the upcoming Pixel 6 phone series when that arrives soon. 

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If you've been holding off on installing the public beta on your Pixel phone - because it's your daily driver - take this as your reminder that the new software will be coming to you soon. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 13 September 2021.