Samsung beating Google Pixels at the Android update game

    For years, Google’s Pixel telephones have loved three years of updates, the longest lifespan this aspect of the Android/iOS divide. Now Samsung has pushed the envelope, providing 4 years of safety updates, beating Google’s Pixel telephones at their very own sport.

    One facet through which Android has all the time fallen behind iOS is updates, with iPhones receiving as many as six years value of updates, whereas some Android telephones are fortunate to get two years. On this space, Google’s Pixel sequence have held the crown, providing their telephones three full years of updates, together with month-to-month patches and three main Android variations. The unique Google Pixel was step by step up to date from Android 7.1 Nougat to Android 10 — an extension from the unique promise to solely supply two main updates.

    For its half, Samsung hasn’t been too far off the mark as of late, bringing two years of month-to-month updates and two main Android variations, normally adopted by a 12 months of much less frequent safety updates to maintain units secure. At the moment, Samsung introduced that their Galaxy units — together with telephones and Android tablets from 2019 onward — are actually promised a fourth 12 months of safety updates.

    In doing so, Samsung has thrown the gauntlet, giving Galaxy telephones extra updates of Google’s Android OS than Google themselves. If Google goes to proceed to let software program options and updates be among the driving components behind the Pixel line, then they might want to reply this problem by giving Pixel telephones not less than one other 12 months of updates.

    Fortunately, there’s by no means been a greater time for Google to implement one thing like this. On the finish of final 12 months, Google and Qualcomm unveiled a system for telephones to extra simply obtain 4 years of updates, together with three main Android updates, beginning with telephones that launch with the Snapdragon 888 and Android 11. If the Pixel 5a, presumed to be arriving later this 12 months, launches with a brand new sufficient Snapdragon chip, it might very simply obtain a full four-year replace plan.

    However what about Google’s older Pixels? The unique Pixel and Pixel 2 have already aged out of receiving updates, and the Pixel 3 is presently on schedule to obtain this fall’s Android 12 replace as one among its final, adopted by roughly two closing safety updates. That is confirmed by the Google Retailer — the place you possibly can nonetheless purchase a refurbished Pixel 3 — solely promising updates till October 2021. In the meantime, the Galaxy S10, launched just some months after the Pixel 3 sequence, is now set to have not less than occasional safety updates into 2023.

    With the Pixel sequence stagnating in digital camera prowess, permitting different OEMs to catch up, and now Samsung main the best way to Android units having prolonged lifespans, Google must step up its sport if the Pixel sequence goes to remain related going ahead. The easiest way to do that can be to supply a further 12 months of safety updates on a telephone’s closing OS replace, even when it’s not on the identical month-to-month schedule.

    Higher but, for Google to regain its crown because the king of Android updates, it might supply a fourth main replace to Pixels and 5 years of safety updates — for instance, updating the Pixel 3 sequence to subsequent 12 months’s Android 13 adopted by safety updates into late 2023. If 4 years of updates is ready to turn into the norm on Android, it’s Google’s duty to proceed to push the bounds in a manner that encourages different firms to be higher, because the Made by Google model all the time has.

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