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Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro tipped to get four major OS updates, five years of security patches

For almost the entirety of Android’s existence, its Achilles heel has been the state of firmware updates and long-term support. The norm across the industry is 2 years of major updates and 3 years of security patches, but depending on the OEM, some bring that up to 3 years of updates and 4 of patches, which is definitely better. Google’s always been the leader when it comes to getting out speedy updates, but with the Pixel 6, Google might make a renewed commitment to impressively long-term software support.

A few days back we looked into a leak that mentioned Pixel 6 phones being in line for 5 years of security patches. Now another tipster attempts to corroborate that information, while fleshing things out slightly:

Leaker Snoopytech posts on Twitter that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be getting at least 4 major OS updates and 5 years of security patches. This is a marked improvement over current Pixels, which get 3 major OS updates and 3 years of security patches (Google doesn’t currently guarantee security patches after the last major update is rolled out).

Not only are the new Pixels getting an additional major Android version and 2 more years of software updates, but Google would also overtake Samsung, which currently commits to up to 4 years of security patches, in the update department.

This feat is probably at least partly because of Google’s new Tensor chipset. Now that Google is no longer just the maker of Android, but also builds the hardware inside its phones, it finally enjoys the same kind of hardware-software control Apple currently has over iPhones — as a reminder, on iOS, it’s common to see 5 or even 6 years of major OS updates, with older models like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 still getting the occasional security patch.

While 4 Android upgrades is still less than 5-6, that’s getting way closer, and for all we know future Pixels might even get more updates as Google gets better at this whole chip-making thing.

Both phones will be formally announced on October 19th, and although we already know pretty much everything there is to know about them, we’re still pretty pumped to see them land.