The Google Pixel 4a just scored an unexpected update

Pixel 4a Alex Back Outside Wall
(Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Pixel 4a from 2020 got a new November 2023 security update.
  • The device running on Android 13 received its last update in August 2023.
  • The latest update has been listed on the Google Play Services OTA files page.

The three-year-old Pixel 4a phone is in for a surprise update from Google this month. The search giant had recently rolled out a November 2023 update for its Android 14-powered Pixel phones, which includes the Pixel 4a 5G and newer. However, the company surprisingly released a security update to the non-5G Pixel 4a phone.

Before you wonder whether it's an Android 14-based update, let's be clear: it is not. The device was not included in the Android 14 supported devices list as it reached the end of the line for promised updates earlier this year. While we anticipated the August 2023 update (Android 13-based) to be the last update to the Pixel 4a, it looks like Google surprisingly released a new November 2023 update, which was spotted by some Reddit users. The update goes with the TQ3A.230805.001.S1 version number.

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Google's November 2023 update was primarily for newer Pixel phones and is the first official update for the Pixel 8 series after their launch with Android 14 in October. The search giant skipped mentioning the update to the Pixel 4a in its Pixel Community post, which is understandable because it is a mere security patch without any noticeable upgrades.

Nonetheless, it is good to see a software update for a three-year-old budget phone from Google despite the device getting dropped from the official update support.

If you are a Pixel 4a owner, you can check out the possible last update by heading over the phone's Settings > System > System update and hitting the Check for update button.

Compared to industry standards, the three-year software support — Pixel 4a in this case — was somewhat modest. It's encouraging to see Google extend it to an incredible seven years with the most recent Pixel 8 series, which offers security updates, feature drops, and operating system upgrades.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.

  • andyross63
    Just saw that on my phone, but it is a bit confusing. On the version screen, it says the update is August 5, 2023. The build does match what is in the article. I can only guess this isn't a full update but was just updating one small part.