Android is great for many things, but software support is not one of them. Google is promising five years of software support for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with three major platform updates. While this is still pretty sad, Google seems to be alright with it.
Software support on Android phones could be better
We all know that when buying a phone, one of the things to think about is software support. A lot of the average users don’t care about software support so long as the phone has a screen, a camera, and can play Candy Crush. However, a lot of the tech community wants to be able to keep their phones up-to-date and secure. This is why they want to buy phones that will be supported for a while.
Sorry to say this, but compared to Apple, Android software is just not up to snuff. People can still update their iPhone 6 to the latest version of iOS (to put that into perspective: the iPhone 6 came out before the FIRST Pixel Phone). That’s a really bad look for Google and a grenade in Apple’s hand.
Google said that it’s still a “Great Experience”
Regardless of this, Google still thinks that this is still good. In an article titled “Google Is Forcing Me To Dump A Perfectly Good Phone”, Aaron Gordon states that he contacted Google about the lackluster software support. In response, a spokesperson said, “We find that three years of security and OS updates still provides users with a great experience for their device.”
That’s a very short and succinct answer, but it tells a lot if it can be taken to heart. It sounds like Google wants to make it so that nothing bogs down the aging hardware. It makes sense in some respect; why update the phone to a platform that it can’t handle?
The only thing is that mobile chips are getting stronger with each generation. An SoC from 2015 might not have been able to handle more than three updates, but a powerful ARM-based chip from 2018 should be able to handle more than that. ARM-based chips are starting to power laptops, even. As time goes on, the chips gain more power and more efficiency, thus, phones should be able to handle more than just three years of updates.
Right now, Google is saying that five years of software updates is great, but it’s not much better than before. However, it’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully, we will see some improvement as time goes on.