What you need to know
- Google recently rolled out the June update to Pixel smartphones.
- The update enabled LTE roaming for its devices amid the ongoing 3G shutdown.
- The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are both receiving the update, despite support officially ending.
Software support for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL may have ended, but Google is issuing a surprise update for the devices, and it's a pretty important one. This update enables LTE roaming for both Pixel smartphones, allowing them to live another day.
Google confirmed the new Pixel 3 update with 9to5Google. However, it's been noted that the update only includes VoLTE roaming support.
Support for the two phones ended in October 2021 following the Android 12 update. However, the phones later received a new update in February 2022, with today's update further extending use for the aging phones.
As Google previously explained, the update arrives amid the ongoing 3G shutdown that's taking place across the U.S. It allows phones to roam across networks within the U.S. on carriers that support VoLTE, which can also come in handy for international Pixel owners.
AT&T was first to pull the plug earlier this year, and T-Mobile is currently in the midst of its 3G shutdown, which retires on July 1. Verizon is set to shut its 3G network down later this year.
While the 3G shutdown affects some users, such as first and second-generation Pixel owners, some of the best budget Android phones support VoLTE, meaning many users don't have to be worried about losing service. This is especially true for newer flagship models like the Pixel 6 series.
Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are being updated to firmware versions SP1A.210812.016.C2 or SP1A.210812.016.B2, depending on the carrier.
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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.