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Google extends software support for Pixel phones

What To Know

  • During its recent Made by Google event, Google made a noteworthy announcement, pledging to extend its software support for Pixel phones to a total of seven years.
  • The additional two years of support not only has the potential to save consumers from the need to invest in a new phone prematurely but also contributes to reducing the rapid disposal of aging Pixels into landfills.
  • In contrast, Apple has not made a firm commitment to extend its software support, though its phones typically receive updates for a period of five to six years.
  • An exception to this trend is Samsung, which, in February 2022, announced its intention to offer four generations of Android updates and five years of security patches for many of its models.

During its recent Made by Google event, Google made a noteworthy announcement, pledging to extend its software support for Pixel phones to a total of seven years. This news, although not as attention-grabbing as the introduction of new hardware or operating system features, places Google well ahead of its competitors in this regard. This commitment has the potential to benefit both consumers and the environment significantly.

Before this update, Google’s policy for supporting its phones was limited to five years, at least for models like the Pixel 6 and newer. This, in itself, was commendable. The additional two years of support not only has the potential to save consumers from the need to invest in a new phone prematurely but also contributes to reducing the rapid disposal of aging Pixels into landfills.

In 2022 alone, an estimated five billion phones were discarded, posing environmental risks such as the leaching of toxic chemicals into groundwater.

It is difficult to predict how many consumers will fully capitalize on the extended lifespan of their Pixel phones. Some may still opt for new and improved models, while others may find that the limited repairability of smartphones today leaves something to be desired. Nonetheless, Google’s move in this direction is undeniably positive and may even exert pressure on its competitors.

In contrast, Apple has not made a firm commitment to extend its software support, though its phones typically receive updates for a period of five to six years. On the Android side of the spectrum, support can be notably less generous.

An exhaustive list of manufacturer update policies by Android Authority has revealed that most brands only provide approximately two years of support, with many unwilling to commit to any specific timeframe.

An exception to this trend is Samsung, which, in February 2022, announced its intention to offer four generations of Android updates and five years of security patches for many of its models.

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