Google ends official support for the original Pixel 1 phone

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

To be clear, that certainly doesn't mean you need to stop using the phone. There's no Google magic at play here that will disable your device or otherwise hinder its functionality (aside from the usual wear-and-tear that comes with operating an aging smartphone).

However, if you do choose to hold off on upgrading, you won't have access to any of the latest Pixel-specific features, major upcoming versions of Android, or security patches. Android 10 is the last big software update you can expect to receive.

For those who haven't been keeping track, the Pixel 1's official support period lasted around three years -- that's certainly not awful, and smartphones from other phonemakers often stop receiving updates far sooner. However, it's also not ideal, especially given Google's role in the Android eco-system. If anything, you'd think the company would have an easier time supporting its phones over longer periods due to its position as the OS' developer.

Apple, another first-party phonemaker (all of the tech giant's devices run on its own operating systems), typically continues to roll out software, security, and feature updates to its gadgets for roughly five years.

Regardless, there's not much that can be done about it now. If you are a Pixel 1 owner, we certainly hope you're able to keep using the device as long as possible, but for security reasons alone, it might be worth considering an upgrade sometime over the coming months.

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McMurdeR

TS Addict
This is one of the biggest selling points of Apple hardware over Android stuff. Google can and should do better here.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
This is one of the biggest selling points of Apple hardware over Android stuff. Google can and should do better here.
I'm not exactly agree or disagree with you, but that brings up an interesting question. How many Google pixel 1s are still being used today? Under 10,000? Under 1,000?

Apples support for the iPhone is nice in that if you want a device that runs iOS, you can pick one up that's a few years old and save a few bucks.

I break my phones so often that I don't think I've ever had the same phone for a year. 8-9months was probably the longest I've ever had a phone without breaking it. Shortest I've gone was about 4 hours and that wasn't even my fault. Shortest I've gone where it WAS my fault was 3 days.

Anyway, I will say that my Google Pixel 3 XL is my favorite phone I've ever owned. So much so that I'm on my 3rd;)
 

Irata

TS Addict
Really sad that you have to replace a perfectly working device due to there not being any software updates.

Wasn't there an petition from Google employees to be more eco friendly? Well, this would be a start.

Oh, and btw: Windows 10 Mobile support ends the end of this year. That means if you bought a Lumia 535 - one of MS's entry level phones - you had five years of support.
 
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Mr Majestyk

TS Maniac
This is one of the biggest selling points of Apple hardware over Android stuff. Google can and should do better here.
I agree, this is absolutely pathetic from Google and why I'll never buy on of their phones. Imagine paying $1200 (Australia) for a Pixel 4 and you only get a pathetic 3 years support. Even my S7 Edge still gets all the security updates and I'm p!ssed we still don't get OS updates. My next phone will probably be a OnePlus 8 or iPhone 12 just for the support reason alone.
 
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Nobina

TS Evangelist
Really sad that you have to replace a perfectly working device due to there not being any software updates.
You do? Or maybe just keep using it like you always have because software updates are nothing more than a little bit of novelty.
 

brucek

TS Guru
You do? Or maybe just keep using it like you always have because software updates are nothing more than a little bit of novelty.
If only that were true. Phones are connected devices where a substantial portion of their utility relates to the services and other devices they connect to. Soon after the phone's core software stops updating, often the software on top of it does too. Meanwhile though, the servers and services those apps connect to keep updating, and soon enough users won't be able to do the same things they used to because those services require newer client versions.

My prediction is that acceptance of this short support period is near its end. The manufacturers got away with it until now because progress in phone capabilities was so great many people didn't mind the nudge to get the later model. That patience is going to wear thin when the "later model" is still expensive but is not actually that much different than the one that is being force-ably obsoleted.
 
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OortCloud

TS Maniac
What a rip-off. There is no technical reason not to continue supporting this phone. Spec-wise the Pixel 1 isn't that different from a Pixel 3 - they both use 8-series Qualcomm CPUs for instance.
This is just a money-grab hoping people will upgrade to a new Pixel. But this announcement just tells me to never buy another bit of Google hardware. Looks like they have the same attitude as they do with their software - just cancel support out of the blue after a a couple of years and move on.

Don't be evil, be worse, be Google...
 

Irata

TS Addict
You do? Or maybe just keep using it like you always have because software updates are nothing more than a little bit of novelty.
As others have already mentioned, the problems are no security updates and eos for third party apps.
Am facing that problem with my Lumia 950XL this end of year. I have zero reason to get a different phone as it does everything I need it to very well and I like both the OS and hardware.

The problem is that two third party apps I really need will stop working one the OS support ends. I still do not see why they cannot let the apps continue to run until there is an update that breaks it but oh well...
 

trparky

TS Evangelist
You could always root the device and use unofficial roms ( https://forum.xda-developers.com/pixel/development ), something that you'd never get to do on an Apple device.
And how many people actually do that? One percent of the market does that, the rest of the 99% will suffer. Suffice it to say, all of you saying that you can root and ROM it and other such enthusiast-only stuff don't think of the kind of people who very much just want things to work.

Not all people are geeks and nerds, they have lives to attend to like I don't know... taking children to school, go to work, put food on the table, etc. They don't have the time to learn or have any inclination to learn how to do any of that; they just want things to work.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
And how many people actually do that? One percent of the market does that, the rest of the 99% will suffer. Suffice it to say, all of you saying that you can root and ROM it and other such enthusiast-only stuff don't think of the kind of people who very much just want things to work.

Not all people are geeks and nerds, they have lives to attend to like I don't know... taking children to school, go to work, put food on the table, etc. They don't have the time to learn or have any inclination to learn how to do any of that; they just want things to work.
I would say under 10,000 of the original Google pixels are still in use. They aren't like iPhones where they can count on selling them in the millions. It doesn't make financial sense to support a device with so few users.

As much as it pains me to say this because I HATE Apple, this is the compromise you make when going Android. And rarely does anyone keep their phone past two years.

While I don't like that this is what companies are doing, our society does view phones as disposable devices. We really aren't meant to keep them last two years and telecoms financing them over one to two years reflects that
 

Danny101

TS Guru
You could always root the device and use unofficial roms ( https://forum.xda-developers.com/pixel/development ), something that you'd never get to do on an Apple device.
Or go with LineageOS
https://download.lineageos.org/sailfish
Pixel is on the list.
In fact my next phone purchase may be one that's supported on this website provided I can keep it working long enough. The USB connection is what usually breaks on me first, so I'll consider a hands-free charging phone next. There are good cases out there to protect against physical damage. In the end, cheap phones that don't last are not good for the environment and we need more hardened devices with longevity.
 
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Arris

TS Evangelist
Not exactly a good thing if your device hasn't had security patches in God knows how long.
You do know that the 2 years support is for OS updates. I have had devices that got security patches past that. A test device I have at work, Galaxy S7E from 2016 is on Android 8 but received security patch from August 2019.
 

Arris

TS Evangelist
And how many people actually do that? One percent of the market does that, the rest of the 99% will suffer. Suffice it to say, all of you saying that you can root and ROM it and other such enthusiast-only stuff don't think of the kind of people who very much just want things to work.
And what percentage of Apple users don't run out and by the latest "evolutionary" (aka barely updated) device as soon as Apple makes then available?
 

trparky

TS Evangelist
And what percentage of Apple users don't run out and by the latest "evolutionary" (aka barely updated) device as soon as Apple makes then available?
It doesn't matter, their older devices are still getting proper updates. That's the difference between what happens in the Android world vs. what happens in the Apple world, in the Apple world you're still supported even though you have an older device.

Tell me again what platform is better if you intend to hang onto a device for longer than a year or two (or three)? Oh yeah, that's Apple!
 

Arris

TS Evangelist
It doesn't matter, their older devices are still getting proper updates. That's the difference between what happens in the Android world vs. what happens in the Apple world, in the Apple world you're still supported even though you have an older device.

Tell me again what platform is better if you intend to hang onto a device for longer than a year or two (or three)? Oh yeah, that's Apple!
Let's not get into the whole "Apple is so good supporting older devices".
I know people with older Apple devices, one had an original iPad and it basically became un-usable with Apple's updates.

In the end they are both operating businesses focused on making profit. The shorter support or longer support periods make little real difference to the majority of users as they both coerce users to upgrade, either by the end of OS updates, or by making the devices obsolete through performance degregation on later updates. Myself, I prefer Google's approach of limited time support. it's stated to be to guarentee optimum performance with the advancement of the platform. I find that the slightly less offensive deception than Apple's underhanded slowing of devices.

Most service providers offer 2 year contracts with upgrades at the end of them anyway, which given the increasing prices of each generation of iDevice more and more people are likely to be taking devices on contracts.
 
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Danny101

TS Guru
If these technology companies are as environmentally conscious as they claim to be, then they would be supporting hardware for longer terms. Electronic wastes are environmental threats and the visual accuity has reached a point where upgrades are less of a benefit than it use to be. So instead of getting a new phone, you would be purchasing a new Android or IOS instead. Like the Windows model as it use to be.
 
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trparky

TS Evangelist
Myself, I prefer Google's approach of limited time support. it's stated to be to guarentee optimum performance with the advancement of the platform. I find that the slightly less offensive deception than Apple's underhanded slowing of devices.
I don't! Not everyone can afford to get a new phone every two or three years. What do you tell these people? Oh, you're SOL? That's not good either!

Most service providers offer 2 year contracts with upgrades at the end of them anyway, which given the increasing prices of each generation of iDevice more and more people are likely to be taking devices on contracts.
By this I know that you're talking out of your butt. This hasn't been the case in the USA for a long time now, people have to pay for the whole value of the device. Contracts don't exist anymore.
 

Arris

TS Evangelist
I don't! Not everyone can afford to get a new phone every two or three years. What do you tell these people? Oh, you're SOL? That's not good either!
As I said, have a 2016 Samsung test device that is still on Android 8.0 but got a 2019 security patch. And it's not like your phone is unusable as soon as it hits 2 years old.

By this I know that you're talking out of your butt. This hasn't been the case in the USA for a long time now, people have to pay for the whole value of the device. Contracts don't exist anymore.
Fair enough, my mistake. That is something I wasn't aware of having changed, not being from the USA myself. Thanks for the information. But many, if not all EU countries (actually larger populace in EU than USA) still work with contracts with devices paid for over the duration of the contract. But I appreciate the talking out butt comment from someone so obviously ethnocentric in their observations. If that is going to be your attitude I think I'll bow out of this "discussion".
 

trparky

TS Evangelist
As I said, have a 2016 Samsung test device that is still on Android 8.0 but got a 2019 security patch. And it's not like your phone is unusable as soon as it hits 2 years old.
OK, you must be in Europe. I get it now. Europe has these funny things called consumer protection laws and all that jazz. In America we get screwed by our carriers, they want us to keep having to buy new devices every year or two since heck... why not? It practically prints money for them!
But I appreciate the talking out butt comment from someone so obviously ethnocentric in their observations. If that is going to be your attitude I think I'll bow out of this "discussion".
Oops, I apologize for that. I'm spewing out my hate on the carriers in the US where all they care about is money, money, and more money. I'm looking at you AT&T and Verizon! You suck!
 
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Arris

TS Evangelist
OK, you must be in Europe. I get it now. Europe has these funny things called consumer protection laws and all that jazz. In America we get screwed by our carriers, they want us to keep having to buy new devices every year or two since heck... why not? It practically prints money for them!

Oops, I apologize for that. I'm spewing out my hate on the carriers in the US where all they care about is money, money, and more money. I'm looking at you AT&T and Verizon! You suck!
No worries, hope whatever device you have keeps going for as long as you want to use it :)