The Google Pixel 6 won't get as many Android OS upgrades as we hoped

Google Pixel 6 Pro Curved Screen
Google Pixel 6 Pro Curved Screen (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

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.

Google Pixel 6 Update Guarantee

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

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.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.