In late April, Google angered a section of its Pixel and Pixel XL fans by confirming that the two phones will no longer be updated to new software versions beyond October 2018.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL were released in October 2016 and come next year October, they’ll be two years old and out of Google’s software support program. This is just how Google does things. Usually, the tech giant continues to support its devices with software updates for a period of two years following their first release. This means that it’s possible that Android O could be the last or second last major OS update that the Pixel phones will receive.
As far as monthly security updates are concerned, Google confirmed that the two Pixel phones will be supported until October 2019, which will make it three years of software support. Not so long ago, the tech giant launched what it calls Project Treble. This is a feature that is part of the new Android O and according to the company; it is aimed at improving the speed at which software updates are released to Android devices.
With Project Treble, Android OEMs will save a lot of time and money as the feature will speed up the entire process of updating to a new OS. To achieve this, Google says that Treble will separate the stock Android OS from the vendor interface while keeping this interface forwards-compatible. This means that the original vendor interface will not need an update or tweak in order to work with a newer Android OS version, instead, it will be directly compatible with the new OS, in theory.
Now, during the Google I/O 2017, the VP of Engineering for Android, David Burke, mentioned that the current Google Pixel and Pixel XL will be receiving the support for this Project Treble feature via the new Android O update. Ideally, the feature is supposed to be on devices that come preinstalled with Android O out of the box, but it seems the Pixel phones will be an exception.
So, what does this means for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL family? It could only mean one thing – prolonged software support. If the Pixel phones get Project Treble support, we could see the October 2018 and October 2019 dates scrapped in favor of new ones, most probably beyond these ones. But there’s no guarantee on this. To find out, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.