Missed Android 14 by this a lot

After a decade of iPhone homeowners having fun with years upon years of updates, Android producers are lastly beginning to catch up. Samsung’s present improve coverage — 4 OS upgrades, 5 years of safety patches — is so well-liked, OnePlus applied comparable guidelines beginning with its newest smartphone. Google, to its credit score, has provided 5 years of patches because the arrival of the Pixel 6, however solely three years of “assured” OS upgrades. With the arrival of Android 14’s first developer preview, we’re seeing one other smartphone fall sufferer to poor improve assist.


In case you rushed over to Google’s on-line flash device to put in Android 14 DP1 on a Pixel 4a, you already know the disappointing fact. The cellphone, which turns three years previous in August, is not included on the checklist of supported units, probably guaranteeing that Android 13 as its ultimate improve. Google’s Android 14 timeline suggests an August launch following the same old spherical of developer previews and betas, an analogous sample as final yr’s launch. Sadly, an August drop would successfully let the Pixel 4a simply age out of this coverage. Pixel 4a 5G homeowners, in the meantime, will probably get a ultimate OS improve earlier than hitting its personal three-year anniversary in October.

Timeline showing Android 14's pre-release schedule

Supply: Google

Regardless of its age, there’s nothing essentially holding Google again from updating the Pixel 4a however its personal arbitrary time window. Sure, the Snapdragon 730G powering Google’s most reasonably priced 2020 smartphone is not as quick because the Snapdragon 765G discovered within the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, however we aren’t speaking about historical {hardware} right here. In spite of everything, these choices aren’t based mostly on how highly effective or succesful a smartphone is; if it had been, the Pixel 4 collection — two telephones with extra horsepower than the Pixel 4a 5G — might have continued receiving upgrades previous this week’s ultimate patch.

On the finish of the day, the Pixel 4a’s lacking Android 14 assist is yet one more consequence of Google’s outdated software program assist. With customers holding onto their units for longer than ever, the corporate owes it to its person base to meet up with Samsung. This downside will not finish as soon as the ultimate non-Tensor gadget — the Pixel 5a — loses assist subsequent yr. The Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, and even the Pixel 7 are all set to lose OS upgrades after three years, even with their prolonged safety patch coverage.

We have reached out to Google to substantiate the Pixel 4a will finish its improve cycle on Android 13, and can replace our protection with the corporate’s response. Because it stands, anybody with a Pixel 4a — the cellphone that earned our Editors’ Selection award simply over two years in the past — will probably miss out on one ultimate OS improve by a matter of weeks, if not days. Frankly, these prospects deserve higher.