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Verizon will control updates on its Google Pixel phones

By Scorpus ยท 12 replies
Oct 7, 2016
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  1. 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.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    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.

    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.
    Reehahs and kapital98 like this.
  3. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 592   +304

    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.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    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".
  5. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    It's not biased if it's true.

    -Verizon Customer since circa 2004
    Reehahs and Sum Guy like this.
  6. 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!
    Spike666 likes this.
  7. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Maniac Posts: 215   +154

    If you have Project Fi in your area, leave Verizon. My bill averages around $30 a month now.
    SirChocula and Spike666 like this.
  8. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Burn !
  9. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 821   +29

    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.
  10. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 846   +38

    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.
  11. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    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.
  12. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 728   +471

    You might as well not buy the phone at this rate.
  13. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    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.
    Reehahs likes this.

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