Google has always wanted its Pixel phones to be the iPhones of the Android space. But up until now, one thing was sorely missing from its current formula to make this a reality: support for multiple generations of Android updates. With the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL, however, Google is looking to correct this. According to reports, Google’s Pixel 6 phones will get almost double the support of its previous Pixel releases.
Get the Pixel 6 if you’re concerned that your next Android phone won’t receive enough support since it will receive the following five versions of Android. Google’s Pixel phone series has become better and better over the last couple of years. The Pixel 3a got things started by providing a terrific phone at an even better bargain. A year later, the Pixel 4a did likewise while providing even more. And in 2020, the Pixel 5 was essentially the best value kind of flagship phone available.
Historically, Pixel phones were confirmed for three years worth of Android updates, a commitment recently matched by Samsung. Never one to miss a challenge, Google has now doubled down on Android updates for its incoming Pixel 6 lineup of phones. All Pixel 6 models, meaning the Pixel 6 and the Pixel XL, as well as any other phone Google releases between now and 2022, will get five years’ worth of Android updates. This is a significant and welcome move. This increased support for its Pixel 6 phones was confirmed inside leaked marketing materials that confirmed: “Android security updates for at least five years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US.“
The reason? Apparently, Google wants to better differentiate its two models, and the Pixel 6 Pro will be marketed as a proper flagship release akin to Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra. The key to netting five years’ worth of Android updates for the Pixel 6 is likely down to the fact that it runs on Google’s custom Whitechapel CPU. Because Google designed the CPU in-house, it knows what it can do and it also knows that it can handle five or more Android updates.
So, if you bought the Pixel 6 when it comes out in October, you’d get Android updates every year until October 2026, taking you all the way to Android 17. The short answer is pretty simple: Google had to beat Samsung. Samsung currently offers the best support (on select models) for Android updates. Google could not let this stand. As the creator of Android, it has to lead the way with Android updates and support. By offering more support than Samsung, Google will be hoping it can persuade some Android users over to its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones ahead of the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S22. And with five years’ worth of updates for the Pixel 6, that means you could buy the phone later this year and still be getting Android updates in 2026!