Google just released the fifth beta of Android12. This is also considered a release Candidate. Although Android 13 is not expected, work is still underway on the next update. Android 12.1 will be the next “point update”.
XDA Developers reported that resourceful developers found indications that Google plans to release the first Android point update in many years. This will be for the remainder of the year. Android 12 is expected to appear soon, but AOSP-Gerrit entries already indicate that a smaller, but still important, update to Android 12.1 is in the works. This will be before the next year’s upgrade to Android 13.
Snow Cone 2
It refers to Android 12.1 “SCv2”, which is probably “Snow Cone Version 2”. Although “Snow Cone”, the codename used internally for Android 12 “S” is still in use, Google has resisted publicizing the names of the previous sweets releases.
It is not clear if Android 12.1 will be the intermediate step. Google could just do without it, with the API Level 32 planned by XDA to signify the major update. The update could raise the API level 31 for Android 12 to 32. The normal procedure is to change the API level. This would mean that there would be a change in version number. Android 12.1 seems very likely.
Only Android 13 T, also known as Tiramisu, will be able to upgrade to API level 33. Android 12.1 is the intermediate step. Google plans to launch the new Pixel 6 line smartphones this fall. However, these will not be available until Android 12 is released.