Google has just dumped the first set of OTA and factory images for its hot new Pixel 4a. For most of us, that doesn't mean much — these aren't new updates or anything like that — but for the intrepid root and ROM crowd, that means they've got a method of easily flashing back to stock if they need it, plus convenient images to dig through or tweak.

This software dump is a few days after the Pixel 4a's formal August 20th availability date, and not in cadence with the usual first-Monday-of-the-month security drop, but it's not without precedent.

Four images in total have been released, and curiously the OTA images don't entirely match the factory images. (It looks like Google accidentally labeled a May release as "August" in the OTA downloads site, given the identical build numbers.)

  • QD4A.200317.024.A1, May 2020, JP carriers and Verizon
  • QD4A.200317.027, Aug 2020 (OTA only)
  • QD4A.200317.027, May 2020 (Factory image only)
  • QD4A.200805.001, Aug 2020, JP carriers and Verizon
  • QD4A.200805.003, Aug 2020

Images provided include both May and August security patches, split in two for different carrier groups, with Verizon and Japanese carriers getting their own separate image. That three-month May to August gap is also pretty unusual, and probably indicative of the phone's delay and an originally intended May release date — likely Google I/O before it was canceled. Furthermore, the May image build numbers actually point to a March 17th build date. It's all pretty weird.

While these newly posted images probably don't have anything interesting to show us, they're decent proof that the phone's three-month delay wasn't anticipated. But good things come to those that wait.