Google Ends Support for Pixel 4a: What It Means for Android Users

Google ended software support for the Pixel 4a in August 2023, leaving the 2020 device without the September security update. Concerns arise over Googles software support commitment compared to Apple. Future Pixel releases may necessitate a policy revamp.

Google initiated the rollout of the September security update for its supported Pixel devices yesterday, but notably absent from the list was the Pixel 4a. Today, we have received official confirmation that software support for the 2020 Pixel 4a has ceased, with the final update issued in August 2023.

The Pixel 4a made its debut in August 2020, making it just over three years old when its support ended. Regrettably, the device fell short of some expectations, offering only modest improvements over its predecessor, the Pixel 3a. Furthermore, its release timing was less than ideal, coinciding closely with the launch of the Pixel 5. This meant that those seeking a pure Android experience had a compelling reason to opt for the latter device.

The signs of the Pixel 4a's impending obsolescence were apparent when it was excluded from the list of devices eligible for the Android 14 developer preview. This omission indicated that Google had no intentions of extending software support to this device. In contrast, the 5G variant of the Pixel 4a continues to receive updates, including the September Android security patch, participation in Android 14 developer previews and beta releases, and, naturally, it will receive the stable Android 14 update upon release.

It is disheartening that Google, a company renowned for its software prowess, has chosen to discontinue support for the Pixel 4a after just three years. In comparison, the iPhone XR, released in 2018, has recently received the iOS 17 update, highlighting Apple's commitment to supporting its devices.

While one can only hope that the Pixel 4a will be the last device to suffer such a premature end in terms of software support, there is a lingering concern that the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 may face similar fates. Nevertheless, we anticipate that Google will rethink its update policy with the upcoming Pixel 8, aligning it more closely with industry standards.


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