Google could finally be bringing the Pixel on pace in an area the phone has long lagged behind. And not just catching up with its biggest rivals, but passing them.
When the Pixel 6 phone was released in 2021, Google promised exactly what the other Pixel phones have offered — three years of major Android OS updates and an additional two years of security patches. While that’s sufficient for people who plan on upgrading their phone every few years, it’s a little behind the four years of updates that Samsung promises and well behind what Apple offers (the iPhone XS from 2018 will be getting the newest iOS this fall and the 6S from 2015 is still getting security updates).
But for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, due out this fall, that could be changing. 9to5Google reports that the newest Pixel should have updates that “surpass Samsung’s current policy on flagships and meaningfully match the iPhone.”
While it’s not entirely clear what that means, it’s believed to be at least five years of operating system updates, with another few years of security updates tacked on.
Should Google do that, it certainly makes the Pixel more appealing for people who don’t upgrade their phones often.
Phones generally get updates for around four years, but it’s not uncommon to see some Android devices get updates for far longer, especially in cases where a company makes its own chips. And since Google is using a custom-built Tensor chip on its phones, it’s not a surprise to see the update period grow longer.
Will this be enough to bring Samsung or even iPhone fans into Google’s camp? That’s tough to say.
Many people probably don’t even consider operating system update schedules when picking a new phone, and those that do are probably going to want to upgrade more than once every five years. When you consider this significantly improved update schedule along with the Pixel 8’s planned camera improvements and possible desktop mode though, it seems clear that Google wants to do big things with its new lineup of phones.