The first Monday of each new month is famous around these parts as the day Google releases Pixel phone updates. We’ve circled their dates throughout years of Pixel phone releases and relayed the info back to you as quickly as possible once it has gone live. After all, getting an update on our phone is one of the joys of life for a tech bro.
For the second month in a row, Google has missed their first-Monday release schedule for Pixel updates and been silent about the delay. While this isn’t necessarily unheard of, as Google will push updates back from time to time, a change to the Pixel Update Bulletin page has us wondering if Google might be adjusting the schedule.
Up until a couple of days ago, the Pixel Update Bulletin page included a note (now removed) that read the following:
Important: The Pixel update bulletins are published on the first Monday of the month unless that Monday falls on a holiday. If the first Monday of the month is a holiday the bulletins will be published on the following work day.
This was the confirmation of Google’s schedule, that they do indeed target the first Monday of each month to push new monthly Pixel patches. As far as I can tell, they added this note only in June of last year, so it hasn’t been there forever. However, if you look through the entire list of Pixel bulletins, you can see that Google has basically kept to that first-Monday schedule since at least October 2017. This is a known schedule.
The bulletins posted to this page are posted alongside the generic Android Security Bulletins and outline additional security patches and functional improvements that Google sends to their Pixel phones. Speaking of the Android Security Bulletins page, it still contains a note like the one above, suggesting that Google is still releasing the general Android patches on the first Monday of each month and did so again for April 2023.
You may be wanting to ask, “Who cares?” Well, for those of us who have owned Pixel phones for years, we’ve sort of grown accustomed to receiving a new update for our phones on the first Monday of each month. We can prepare our phones accordingly, find joy in Android again in case there are new features included, and pray that there are bug fixes. We also love it when that random reddit guy claims with every update that he’s noticing the Pixel 6 fingerprint reader being magically faster. It isn’t, man.
Unfortunately, since the release of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro at the end of 2021, Google has struggled to maintain their first-Monday schedule at times. You may recall those first few rocky months of the Pixel 6, where Google left the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in pretty rough shape after a buggy December update that wasn’t fixed until mid-January. They’ve also been silent on a bunch of weird carrier delays involving T-Mobile in recent months, not including the late March and April builds.
But if we focus on the March update as an example, there was the initial week-long delay, followed by another week delay for most of the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a devices in the wild. Folks on Verizon with a Pixel 6 had to wait an extra week beyond that too.
And now we’re in April and have been met with silence once again from Google. The only news or info we have about the April Pixel update is from Verizon, but they didn’t include anything about the Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 lines.
The silence is a big part of the problem here because we just don’t know what’s going on. When many of us bought Pixel phones, we did so knowing we’d get monthly updates and that those were scheduled to arrive within the first few days of the month. If Google doesn’t want to meet that strict schedule any longer, that’s fine – but tell us what’s up. We need to reset expectations.