For years, Google’s Pixel telephones have loved three years of updates, the longest lifespan this aspect of the Android/iOS divide. Now Samsung has pushed the envelope, providing 4 years of safety updates, beating Google’s Pixel telephones at their very own recreation.
One side during which Android has at all times fallen behind iOS is updates, with iPhones receiving as many as six years price of updates, whereas some Android telephones are fortunate to get two years. On this space, Google’s Pixel collection have held the crown, providing their telephones three full years of updates, together with month-to-month patches and three main Android variations. The unique Google Pixel was regularly up to date from Android 7.1 Nougat to Android 10 — an extension from the unique promise to solely provide two main updates.
For its half, Samsung hasn’t been too far off the mark as of late, bringing two years of month-to-month updates and two main Android variations, often adopted by a yr of much less frequent safety updates to maintain units protected. Today, Samsung announced that their Galaxy units — together with telephones and Android tablets from 2019 onward — at the moment are promised a fourth yr of safety updates.
In doing so, Samsung has thrown the gauntlet, giving Galaxy telephones extra updates of Google’s Android OS than Google themselves. If Google goes to proceed to let software program options and updates be a few of the driving components behind the Pixel line, then they might want to reply this problem by giving Pixel telephones no less than one other yr of updates.
Fortunately, there’s by no means been a greater time for Google to implement one thing like this. On the finish of final yr, Google and Qualcomm unveiled a system for telephones to more easily receive four years of updates, together with three main Android updates, beginning with telephones that launch with the Snapdragon 888 and Android 11. If the Pixel 5a, presumed to be arriving later this yr, launches with a brand new sufficient Snapdragon chip, it may very simply obtain a full four-year replace plan.
However what about Google’s older Pixels? The unique Pixel and Pixel 2 have already aged out of receiving updates, and the Pixel 3 is at the moment on schedule to obtain this fall’s Android 12 replace as considered one of its final, adopted by roughly two remaining safety updates. That is confirmed by the Google Retailer — the place you may nonetheless purchase a refurbished Pixel 3 — solely promising updates until October 2021. In the meantime, the Galaxy S10, launched only a few months after the Pixel 3 collection, is now set to have no less than occasional safety updates into 2023.
With the Pixel collection stagnating in digital camera prowess, permitting different OEMs to catch up, and now Samsung main the way in which to Android units having prolonged lifespans, Google must step up its recreation if the Pixel collection goes to remain related going ahead. One of the simplest ways to do that can be to supply a further yr of safety updates on a telephone’s remaining OS replace, even when it’s not on the identical month-to-month schedule.
Higher but, for Google to regain its crown because the king of Android updates, it may provide a fourth main replace to Pixels and 5 years of safety updates — for instance, updating the Pixel 3 collection to subsequent yr’s Android 13 adopted by safety updates into late 2023. If 4 years of updates is about to turn out to be the norm on Android, it’s Google’s duty to proceed to push the bounds in a approach that encourages different firms to be higher, because the Made by Google model at all times has.
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