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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Google Pixel 8a to change the way rival Android companies offer security and software updates

We are talking about a phone which is slightly on the wrong side of 50K but this is something unheard of

Mathures Paul Published 17.05.24, 07:55 AM
Google Pixel 8a is a midrange phone that offers long-term security and software upgrades

Google Pixel 8a is a midrange phone that offers long-term security and software upgrades Picture: The Telegraph

Google released its midrange phone, the Pixel 8a, earlier this month and it comes with one feature that’s worth a discussion — seven years of Android operating system upgrades and security updates. We are talking about a phone which is slightly on the wrong side of 50K but this is something unheard of. It matches the flagship Pixel 8’s support timeline and marks a big jump from what was given with last year’s Pixel 7a. The unique “feature” will put pressure on Android phone manufacturers, some of whom don’t even promise two years of updates.

I am often asked how long should one cling on to a phone? Ideally five-six years, provided your brand is offering good software support. Apple was the first to introduce long-term support. You buy an iPhone and it lasts for six-seven years at least as long as you replace the battery at least once. The company keeps offering excellent software support to phones that are old. For example, the latest iOS 17 is supported by the iPhone XR, which came out in 2018.

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Samsung too has upped the game. With the flagship Galaxy S24 users are getting seven years of security and software updates.

These are interesting figures. If a company is promising long-term security updates, it means you can safely use it for banking and other important transactions for a long time. An iPhone is secure for seven or eight years or potentially longer.

What are the few things you need to look at while buying a smartphone? First, find out if the processor is any good. Buying a processor which is two years old means you will get very little out of a phone. Remember, the older your phone, the more you may run into problems, including apps that stop working as you expect.

But don’t forget security and software updates. You want your phone to have all the latest features. Once a company stops updating the software security, your phone is vulnerable to hackers.

When buying a phone it is important to note the OS version you are getting out of the box. For example, if you are getting Android 13 out of the box and are being promised two years of major software updates, good days for your phone will end with Android 15, which is almost here. Get a phone that offers the latest OS.

Not long ago, tech giants unveiled new devices that encouraged people to upgrade every two years. That has changed and the number of new features coming to new phones has reduced. Nowadays, people want their phones to endure. endoflife.date is a good resource for information around updates.

Remember to…

Replace battery every two-three years

Update software automatically

A screen protector helps to extend a phone’s life

Use original charging cable and power brick; don’t juice up unnecessarily

Clean your phone; take care of pocket lint and dirt getting into the charging port and speakers

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