Verizon will control updates on its Google Pixel phones

Scorpus

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

As part of the agreement that allows Verizon to exclusively sell the Pixel and Pixel XL in the United States, Google has bizarrely relinquished control of delivering Android software updates to Verizon.

In a move that truly highlights the death of the Nexus program, system updates for the Pixel phones will be managed by Verizon for models that it sells, while Google will handle updates for unlocked models purchased through the Google Store. Phones bought at Best Buy are Verizon models, so they will be subject to Verizon's update schedule too.

With Nexus devices, Google controlled the delivery of software updates, whether it was sold by a carrier or not. This ensured that anyone who purchased a Nexus device was treated to fast software updates when a new version of Android was released. However, with Verizon controlling updates for its Pixel phones, the carrier will almost certainly delay the rollout of updates to ensure their bloatware is fully compatible.

On a positive note, Google will still push monthly security updates to the Pixel and Pixel XL outside of Verizon's control, ensuring users have a secure device at all times. Verizon only has control over system updates, such as a potential future update to Android 8.0 when it's announced and released.

For those that want a Pixel phone on Verizon and don't want to deal with the carrier's slow updates and bloatware, the models Google are selling through the Google Store are fully compatible with the Verizon network. It's possible to simply buy the handset from Google, rather than Verizon, and enjoy a Nexus-like software experience.

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Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
They must have reached to an agreement in order for Google to relinquish their update process. Although it sounds odd since I'm pretty sure google has no issue with selling from their own site.

...the carrier will almost certainly delay the rollout of updates to ensure their bloatware is fully compatible...
Wow, talking about unbiased news. Not that it's not true that carriers like to put their own software but you definitely went off the reserve with that comment.
 

Panda218

TS Evangelist
They must have reached to an agreement in order for Google to relinquish their update process. Although it sounds odd since I'm pretty sure google has no issue with selling from their own site.

...the carrier will almost certainly delay the rollout of updates to ensure their bloatware is fully compatible...
Wow, talking about unbiased news. Not that it's not true that carriers like to put their own software but you definitely went off the reserve with that comment.
It's the truth that hurts... Verizon is by far the worst when it comes to preinstalled crapware on their android handsets. The Nexus devices were always pure, but its clear that VZW will taint the device before it reaches the consumer. Gladly we can still get the device from the Google store if we decide to shell out 649 for the device and get a pure experience.
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
It's the truth that hurts...
Oh you are telling me that by saying that I'm hurt in a matter? Like if I owned Verizon?

What I'm simply saying is that news being here or fox or cbn or whatever they have to inform, yes, they can make their own comments? Sure! But something important for me at least is, in order for an article and/or writer to be taken serious always need to avoid being biased by the author.

It's like... filling a survey with biased questions and then putting that on the internet as a "study shows that everyone loves Trump".
 
S

ScubaRhys

So google still isn't interested in ensuring its users are on an up to date platform. Come on Google, it's 2016 get it sorted. Apple have been reliably updating older mobile devices since they first released them 9 years ago!
 
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TorturedChaos

TechSpot Chancellor
For those that want a Pixel phone on Verizon and don't want to deal with the carrier's slow updates and bloatware, the models Google are selling through the Google Store are fully compatible with the Verizon network. It's possible to simply buy the handset from Google, rather than Verizon, and enjoy a Nexus-like software experience.
Well, I wasn't planning on getting my next phone through a carrier anyways and was really eyeing the Pixel phone. I'm glad Google is offering them direct.
 

matrix86

TS Guru
Ok, so questions:

1.) How easy will it be to unlock the bootloader from the Verizon variant? I'd almost be willing to bet money that developers will very quickly find a way.

2.) Every time Google releases an update, they include the update on their Android page where you can sideload it from your computer. Would this still be possible with the Verizon variant if the bootloader was locked?

I would just buy from the play store, but I still owe on my current phone. Verizon will wave my remaining balance for a $150 trade in value. Pretty much my only option if I want to get this phone.
 

Techstar

TS Member
Has Verizon ever released a phone for sale that they didn't control the updates for? Ever? Why is this even being reported as if it was newsworthy?

This just in, The sky is still blue and Ferdinand Marcos is still dead, more at 11.
 

Techstar

TS Member
I stopped buying phones locked to carriers a long time ago, it's such a hassle dealing with them and their idea of what my phone should do for (or to) me.
 
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