The Google Pixel 6 won't get as many Android OS upgrades as we hoped
What you need to know
- The Google Pixel 6 is only getting three years of OS upgrades.
- Rumors previously hinted at four years of upgrades.
- The Pixel 6 will still receive five years of security updates.
During the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launch on Tuesday, Google played up the fact that the new devices would receive up to five years of security updates. While that's an impressive feat, the company failed to mention its schedule for OS upgrades, but thanks to a Pixel support page, we now know why.
According to the page, both Pixel smartphones will only receive OS upgrades until 2024. That means they may not receive updates past Android 15 while continuing to receive support until 2026.
That's not bad, since only some of the best Android phones are promised as much as four years of security updates, and the Pixels will remain secure well after they stop receiving newer versions of Android. Still, it may be a bummer for some that were hoping for four years of OS upgrades.
That said, it may not be all bad. Pixels are known for getting quarterly feature drops, so the Pixel 6 smartphones will likely continue receiving new features until software support ends in 2026. Additionally, the support page says OS upgrades are "guaranteed" until "at least" 2024, so that leaves the possibility open for upgrades beyond that, although that may just be wishful thinking.
It's worth noting that the Pixel 5a has the same OS update schedule, although security patches will end that same year. The Pixel 3 and 3XL are also losing support after this month, so it may be time to upgrade to the new devices if you're still holding onto those models.
Rumors got many of our hopes up, indicating that we would get four years of OS upgrades, but unfortunately it seems that won't be the case. However, if you're getting your Pixel 6 through Pixel Pass, that'll make it easy to jump to a new model in two years, so the upgrade situation may not matter much for those that buy new phones more often.
The new best
Hold onto this one
The new Pixel 6 Pro is Google's best smartphone to date, thanks to its smooth 120Hz display, powerful Tensor chip, and versatile triple camera setup that gets you real close to the action without sacrificing quality. It comes running Android 12 and is guarunteed support for the next five years.
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.