Google Promises Three Years Of Platform Updates For The New Google Pixel 2 Family
It’s difficult for me to get excited by new product launches in 2017. It’s partially because most new products are leaked weeks or month before, and partially because of the associated hyperbole. Apple and Samsung’s events are the worst: this time Samsung’s
TouchWiz Grace UI doesn’t lag. Every wretched iPhone since the first has been the best yet, but all of them apart from the iPhone 4 have been incremental upgrades from the former model. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to run an Android news blog: there are so many websites providing the same news, vying for readers’ attention, but so few are offering opinions. I am going off topic – something that isn’t tolerated for a news website! Where was I?
Yesterday, Google released the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. I’m a Google fan and both these new smartphones look amazing. I won’t be buying either for a very good OnePlus 5-shaped reason, but the new generation Google Pixels have me excited. It’s not the hardware: both devices feature what sounds like an amazing camera and use the de facto standard chipset in the shape of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. They will be smooth, fast, and shiny. It’s not directly the software; both the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL will run Android 8.0 Oreo when they launch. No: it’s that both of these handsets will be supported for new platform updates (and security patches) for three years.
If Google stick with releasing a new major version of Android every summer, the Google Pixel 2 will start life with Android 8.0 Oreo, progress through Android “P,” Android “Q” and finish life running Android “R.” What does this mean? For the Google fans who have bought a Nexus every year, and who are waiting to receive their Pixel 2, it won’t make much of a difference. To the customer thinking about buying a Google Pixel but wary of receiving limited support, it’s encouraging. To somebody buying a Google Pixel 2 this time next year, after the next generation model has been released, it means it will benefit from two years of software support. And for the industry, it could encourage manufacturers to support their flagship devices for three years.
I won’t hold my breath. Manufacturers can afford to be lazy on the subject of software updates because customers aren’t demanding them. We would much rather buy a new shiny ‘phone, but having seen the backlash against Apple for announcing the iPhone X with it’s bad design features (a display cut out over the scrollbar, way to go Apple) and outrageous price, manufacturers are going to have to tread carefully. I daresay the OnePlus 5 won’t receive three years of software support, but at least the chipset at its heart might and there is a happening aftermarket ROM market out there.