For years, Google’s phones, whether under the Nexus brand or the newer Pixels, have been the gold standard when it comes to getting regular software updates. Recently, however, other manufacturers have finally wised up and stepped up their game by improving their software update commitments. The biggest splash was made by Samsung last year when it outdid Google with its three-year Android update promise. Unsurprisingly, Google is now believed to be fighting back by regaining its lead with the Pixel 6 coming next week.
It was, after all, a bit embarrassing that a phone vendor that was once notorious for having the worst Android updates would outshine the company that actually makes Android. Of course, Samsung has had years of experience behind it, while Google has only started designing and making its own phones back in 2016. It was really only a matter of time before the tech giant tried to reclaim its dignity, and that might happen next week.
Tipster @_snoopytech_ thankfully filled in the big blank that was left by the massive Pixel 6 leak that landed a few days ago. That leak noted that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are guaranteed five years of security patches but made no mention of Android version upgrades. Following the usual pattern, it would seem that the upcoming Google phones will be promised four years of major upgrades, which usually translates to four Android versions, especially as far as Google is concerned.
That is just one year more than what Samsung promised, but that still means another year of critical security updates as well as important feature changes. It means that Pixel 6 owners will be able to hold on to their phones a lot longer before they feel the need to buy a new phone to be able to get newer Android features. Presuming, of course, the hardware lasts that long.
While it’s a major step up for Pixel phones, some point out that even four years pales in comparison to Apple’s track record. iOS 15, for example, supports even the iPhone 6s that was launched back in 2015. The first Google Pixel from 2016, in contrast, reached its end of life in 2019, having officially received only three major upgrades and security patches for that long.