Waiting for Google's stable Android 14 release? You may have to wait some more

Waiting for Google's stable Android 14 release? You may have to wait some more
Because Monday was Labor Day, everyone expected Google to drop its latest monthly update for (eligible) Android devices on Tuesday. But because it's September, the mobile tech world was anticipating a more momentous announcement and rollout than your typical collection of security patches, bug fixes, and minor new features.

Unfortunately, it looks like Android 14 is not yet ready for primetime for unknown reasons, and the stable deployment of the newest OS version may have been pushed back no less than four weeks. Although it's not entirely deontological to talk about a delay when Google didn't officially confirm a release date in the first place, all evidence (and history, and common sense) pointed in a clear direction.

A quick history lesson and a look ahead

Android 13, for instance, achieved (theoretical) stability on August 15, 2022 following an initial beta release in late April, while 2020's Android 11 became generally available on September 8 after a beta program kick-off just three months earlier. Of course, there was also Android 12, which reached the masses in stable form in early October 2021, but with an initial beta build available for (courageous) users this April, Google's intention to spread the Android 14 love to as many people as possible before unveiling the Pixel 8 handset duo was obvious.

According to Mishaal Rahman, who might be the most knowledgeable non-Google employee about all things Android on the face of the earth, September 5 was in fact the date planned by the search giant for the official release of its next mobile OS version "FAR out in advance."

With it in the rearview mirror, the new plan reportedly calls for a stable rollout starting October 4, which just so happens to be the recently confirmed launch date of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Why isn't Google simply releasing Android 14 between now and then? We have no idea (and neither does Rahman), but such a lengthy last-minute delay certainly seems to suggest big trouble was identified in the eleventh hour. 

Alternatively, this could be a sign that Big G is treating Android stability more seriously than ever before, looking to polish the latest OS build to (near) perfection rather than extending beta testing to millions of unsuspecting users. 

Either way, it sounds like there's not much you can do besides wait until October 4. Of course, that date could prove inaccurate or it might be revised too as Google continues to work behind the scenes to get everything ready, but it's probably best not to expect any movement on the stable release front by the end of September.

What about OnePlus... and everyone else? 

As pointed out by Rahman, it remains to be seen if the company's change of plans will mess with the rollout schedules of other companies as well. OnePlus, for instance, jumped the gun last week to announce its Android 14-based OxygenOS 14 update would come (to unspecified devices) on September 25, which may or may not be possible now.

While Google has undoubtedly given some of its major hardware-making partners complete and total freedom to work on modifying and optimizing new Android versions even before they reach stability in recent years, it would be pretty... awkward if a third-party smartphone maker were to beat the search giant to the official deployment punch, especially by more than a week.

Instead, we presume Google's delay will make OnePlus and other OEMs push back their own planned rollouts until October 4 or, more likely, a little later. That includes Samsung and Xiaomi as well, so this is bad news for the entire Android-using community.

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