The upcoming Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro handsets will help define what it means to be an Android smartphone. Each Pixel has helped amplify Google’s thoughts on what works for the community. Naturally, a lot of attention is being paid to offering the community what it needs.
The wider smartphone community is looking for longevity in their phones. With the Pixel handsets, Google has been extending the support window for Android and platform security updates. While there is nothing to stop users from continuing to use their smartphones after updates cease, it is strongly discouraged.
This an issue when you have premium handsets offering just two years of Android support. According to the latest reports, Google is leading by example. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are expected to ship with at least five years of Android OS updates alongside the relevant security updates.
That would set the Pixel up as one of the longest-supported Android handsets on the market. The closest would be Samsung, which has offered four years for the latest Galaxy S23 family of handsets.
Of course, one other manufacturer will want to enter this conversation. While Apple has not offered any concrete update guarantees over the years, you have four- and five-year-old iPhones picking up iOS updates, and security updates are still being rolled out for the likes of the iPhone 6S some eight years after its launch.
Unlike many Android manufacturers, Apple has almost complete control over its hardware, especially the Axx Apple Silicon chipsets. This makes it easier to continue developing for older hardware; the logjam of waiting for the chip designer to provide updates doesn’t come into it when you designed the chipset yourself …which is something Google can match thanks to its in-house designed Mobile Tensor chipsets.
With the community looking for more updates and upgrades to allow them to use their smartphones safely for longer, Google is delivering the necessary software alongside the new hardware.
Now read how Google is planning to remove the SIM card from your next Pixel…