While the Pixel 6 ushered in three years of major Android OS version updates and an additional two for security patches, that’s still nowhere near the longevity of the iPhone. Google hopes to change that on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro with noticeably more OS updates.
Looking at the mobile Android landscape, three years of OS updates – which was also the case on Qualcomm-powered Pixel phones from 2017-2021 – is less than Samsung’s promise of four, which started last year with the Galaxy S21, S22, Flip 3, and Fold 3 and continued through devices released this year, including some of the company’s more affordable releases.[…]
From what we’re hearing, Pixel 8’s update promise should surpass Samsung’s current policy on flagships and meaningfully match the iPhone. Of course, the devil is in the details, especially in those later years. For example, the Galaxy line has, in the past, adopted a quarterly approach towards the end. Even a bump to just five years of OS updates for Pixel would be enough and let the Google phone be at the top of the ecosystem, with anything beyond that squarely going after the iPhone’s record.
The situation has definitely been improving – finally – but I’d still like this to be platform-wide, and not just individual manufacturers making promises. To reduce e-waste, make devices more secure and ensure longer lifespans, I’d like to see 10 years of full software support. The tech industry has a long history of garbage support and low quality – especially when it comes to software – that we would not tolerate from any other industry.
It’s time the tech industry grew up and joined other industries that offer far longer and more comprehensive support.