Same Ol’ Google – Pixel Phones Bought From Verizon Will Receive Delayed System Updates
Google has priced its Pixel and Pixel XL phones similar to Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Touting some of the best hardware specs going around in the flagships this year, users are still confused about the software side of the deal. Google has packed some massive improvements in Android 7.1 Nougat along with some key new features. Restricting features like the Pixel Launcher and Google Assistant, the company is trying to make Pixel lineup exclusive and better than its Android competition. However, would the new Google Pixel smartphones suffer the same fate that other Android devices do when it comes to latest software updates? To some extent, yes.
Verizon's Google Pixel and Pixel XL to deal with update fragmentation issues
Verizon is Google's exclusive partner for its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. (Yes, however odd that sounds in 2016, Google is still a decade behind in this game.) This means that the carrier is not only pre-loading some apps on the Pixel, but is also locking the bootloader. Users can even deal with this, especially since it appears you could delete the additional apps. But, what about the timely software and security updates?
Coming to its notorious update process, Google has clarified that Verizon will be responsible for system updates, like the next version of Android. However, the company itself will be responsible for sending monthly, regular security updates. Google confirmed the following to 9to5Google (emphasis ours):
Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store.
What this means is Google is taking some control of the Android software update process. At least for the critical, security updates. However, if you don't want to deal with carrier delays that send the newest versions of Android years later, you can buy the unlocked version from Google itself. After all, it will work with Verizon anyway.