How long will Google support the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with Android updates? Quite a long time, according to leaked Google marketing materials…
Android fragmentation sucks. It is the number one reason why I don’t use phones from brands like RealMe, OPPO, or Xiaomi for the long term. You just don’t get the support with respect to Android updates.
Samsung has made a lot of effort in recent years with its Android support; all modern Samsung Galaxy phones are guaranteed at least three years’ worth of Android updates. And that’s pretty good. It matches Google’s current level of support with its Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a range.
But Google is about to raise the bar with Android updates aboard its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. According to leaked marketing materials, Google is keen on making its next Pixel phones as good as iPhones when it comes to software updates.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Will Be Supported Until 2026
According to leaked marketing materials for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google will support both handsets with updates for five years, two more years than it currently does. This means if you bought the Pixel 6 in 2021, you’d get Android updates until 2026, taking you all the way up to Android 17.
This increased support has not been officially confirmed yet, but the fact that it A) comes from a reliable source (@evleaks), and B) it was gleaned from official Google marketing documents tells me that this will almost certainly be one of Google’s major focusses at launch.
Apple currently leads the way with software support for its iPhones. On average, an iPhone will get around six to eight years’ worth of iOS updates. This means you can buy an iPhone today and, technically speaking, run it for six or more years, more or less without issue.
With Android, this currently isn’t possible – unless you root your phone and run custom ROMs. Google knows fragmentation and poor support by its hardware partners is one of the key battles it is losing to Apple. By adding in support for five years’ worth of Android updates, Google is effectively edging ever close to its dream of creating a proper iPhone alternative for the Android market.
For me, as a long-time Pixel user, this is brilliant news. My only concern, however, would be whether the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro could actually last that long – nearly all my Pixel phones have died or broken after less than two years’ usage, with the exception of the Pixel 5a 5G.
If Google can fix these pesky reliability issues with its Pixel 6 range AND add in five years’ worth of Android support, it will have achieved something truly impressive. It will have created an actual iPhone equivalent for Android users.
And that kind of thing doesn’t happen very often…
Everything you need to know about Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in one place – specs, new camera tech, and Google’s new Tensor CPU, and more…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.