Google Pixel and Pixel XL Android Software Updates Would Work Like iPhone – Verizon Promises


Last week we reported when Google said that Verizon will be responsible for sending out system updates to Pixel and Pixel XL phones bought from the carrier.

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.

This obviously prompted a lot of concerns since it was earlier believed that Google would at least have tighter control over software updates sent to its own devices.

Verizon won't delay Pixel system updates

Verizon has now released a statement to Ars clarifying that it would not stand in the way of system updates. Here's what Verizon had to say [emphasis is ours]:

First and foremost, all operating system and security updates to the Pixel devices will happen in partnership with Google. In other words, when Google releases an update, Verizon phones will receive the same update at the same time (much like iOS updates). Verizon will not stand in the way of any major updates and users will get all updates at the same time as Google.

Also, the Verizon version of the Google Pixel is carrier unlocked, so you can use it where ever you like. Finally, we have three apps pre-installed on the phone Go90, My Verizon (which is your account management tool) and Verizon Messages (your messaging app). As you noted, all three can easily be uninstalled by the user."

In the past, users and security analysts have criticized the tech giant for hiding behind its carrier and OEM partners when it comes to delayed security updates. Google had revealed that while it would be responsible for monthly security and maintenance updates, Verizon will be sending out major system upgrades.

The carrier also says that the process will be similar to Apple's total control over iOS software releases. Whoa! That would be the first time Verizon has made a comparison with iPhones to any other product. The carrier also said that the Pixel phones bought from Verizon will be unlocked, and can be used on other carriers. Finally, it added that users will be able to easily uninstall all the bloatware installed by it. This basically removes all the previous concerns over buying the new Pixel and Pixel XL directly from Google and not from the carrier. It also explains the omniscient branding of Pixel lineup that adds the carrier's name everywhere.

The latest statement would clear many concerns over Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL receiving latest Android versions later than those bought directly from Google. Why did Google release the first statement causing concerns? We can't say. But, we will update this space if Google comments on Verizon's latest statement.

Thanks for the tip, Jesse.