Google announced its latest flagship phone family in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro on Tuesday. Among the list of glitzy features and enhancements was the promise of five years of security updates.
However, if you thought that meant that the phones would be getting five major Android version updates, you’d be wrong. The company actually didn’t mention anything about full Android updates in its initial PR assault.
Now the true figure has emerged through Google’s Pixel Phone Help website, and it’s a tad disappointing.
Alongside the promise of guaranteed security updates until at least 2026, we learn that Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro owners will only get guaranteed Android version updates until at least October 2024.
That’s a three year promise, which in practice translates to Android 13, Android 14, and Android 15. It’s true that the support page speaks of “guaranteed” upgrades, leaving the possibility open of further Android update rollouts in the Pixel 6 family’s future, but it seems unlikely.
For Android phones, three major Android updates is actually very good. But early rumors had suggested that Google’s new phones would be receiving four years of OS upgrades.
It also doesn’t compare well to Apple’s exemplary legacy support in this area. The current version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 15, is available for the iPhone 6S – a six-year old handset that launched with iOS 9.
On the positive side, it will be easier for Google to extend similar support in future now that it (like Apple) makes its own SoC.