One of the reasons anyone owns a Google Pixel phone is because it receives what is arguably the best level of software support in Android. Samsung has certainly made its case as being the king of updates, but Google is still the quickest most months when it comes to new Android security patches and big Android version updates. If you own a Pixel phone, you tend to be first in line to test out whatever is new in Android.
Unpacking everything I just said there, owning a Pixel phone straight-up means you get updates quickly and the new version of Android first. There can be a touch of variation to the timing each month, but for the most part you are first. On top of that, you also get Pixel Feature Drop updates that often include new features that are exclusive to Pixel phones before eventually rolling out to other devices.
There is a certain cadence to all of this, so let’s break it down further.
How long will my Google Pixel get updates?
Alright, since updates are a big part of Google Pixel phone ownership, how long will you get them? That depends on the phone, but as of the launch of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, things have changed dramatically. Depending on your device, you could see up to 7 years of Android OS and security patches.
Starting with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google has committed to a full 7 years of updates. Those updates include Android OS upgrades, security patches, and Pixel Feature Drops.
For the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro up through the Pixel Fold, Google changed its level of support by offering 3 years of Android version updates along with 5 years of security updates. Before that, from the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL up through the Pixel 5a (5G), Google was offering 3 years of Android version updates as well as 3 years of security updates.
The Pixel 4 line, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 5 are actually done receiving updates, as are the Pixel 3a, Pixel 3, Pixel 2, and original Pixel lines. Google is still (at the moment) providing updates to the Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5a, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet, and the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Below, you’ll find the month and year that Google plans to stop providing updates to each Pixel phone, foldable, and tablet.
|Google Phone||Version Updates||Security Updates|
|Pixel 8 & Pixel 8 Pro||October 2030||October 2030|
|Pixel Fold||June 2026||June 2028|
|Pixel Tablet||June 2026||June 2028|
|Pixel 7a||May 2026||May 2028|
|Pixel 7 & Pixel 7 Pro||October 2025||October 2027|
|Pixel 6a||October 2024||October 2026|
|Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro||July 2025||July 2027|
|Pixel 5a||August 2024||August 2024|
|Pixel 5||October 2023||October 2023|
|Pixel 4a (5G)||November 2023||November 2023|
|Pixel 4a||August 2023||August 2023|
|Pixel 4 & Pixel 4 XL||October 2022||October 2022|
When will my Pixel phone get its next update?
Now that you know how long your Pixel phone will see updates, you might wonder when exactly those updates will show up each month. What I can tell you is that Google used to stick to a strict schedule on this, but has since given itself some wiggle room. However, for most months, we expect the following:
- Monthly security updates: Google likes to release monthly Android security updates for its Pixel phones on the first Monday of each month. If that Monday happens to be a holiday, they will then release the update on the following day. This used to be an official release schedule, but Google recently removed references to it. Still, you should see updates regularly on the first Monday of the month.
- Android version updates: For bigger Android version updates, Google tends to release these once per year. In many years, that has meant a stable Android version update around from August to September. They snuck one in October, which was later than usual. Android 10 and Android 11 released in September, while Android 9 and Android 13 were in August. Android 12 was the oddball in October.
When monthly or bigger version updates arrive, they’ll show up over-the-air as an update you can initiate yourself by heading into Settings>System>System update. We’re pretty good about telling you once those updates are live and ready to be installed.
When are Pixel Feature Drops released?
Pixel Feature Drops are a combination of big quarterly updates from Google that are accompanied by new software features for Pixel phones to enjoy. The big Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) update typically fixes dozens and dozens of bugs, while Google also introduces new features through apps like Google Messages, Photos, Maps, Search, and the camera that Pixel phones get before anyone else.
The schedule for Pixel Feature Drops is quarterly and happens 3 times per year. We tend to get a stable version of Android in August or September followed by the first QPR update in December, another in March of the next year, and then June. The cycle then starts over again with the next version of Android.
For Android 12, that meant a Feature Drop in December 2021, 2nd drop in March 2022, and a final drop in June 2022. For Android 13, we have seen a first QPR drop in December 2022 and a second drop in March 2023. The June 2023 drop should arrive at any moment.
There you have it – you should now know exactly when you’ll get updates on your Google Pixel phone.
UPDATED OCTOBER 5 – Google expanded support starting with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to a full 7 years of updates. Also noted the Pixel 5 has stopped receiving updates.