Google has probably ended official updates for the 2018 Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were released in October 2018, and remained Google’s flagship phones until the Pixel 4 series arrived to replace them around a year later. Even though October 2018 might seem like ages ago, it was only a little over three years ago, and now the Pixel 3 series has (probably) received its final update.
Google initially promised the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL would receive major Android updates and monthly security patches until October 2021. However, Google later rolled out a fix to the emergency calling bug in January, which other Android devices received as part of their January 2022 security patch. Now one more update is rolling out for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, labelled as version number SP1A.210812.016.B1 for Australian carriers, and SP1A.210812.016.C1 for other variants.
Google could push another update to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL if another severe problem is discovered in Android, but this is probably the end of the road. Three years (and four months) of support definitely isn’t enough, especially for a company that talks about reducing environmental damage at every possible opportunity. The best way to keep phones out of landfills is to ensure they remain functional and secure for as long as possible.
The good news is that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL can be easily unlocked, allowing anyone to install custom ROMs and alternative operating systems. LineageOS and other projects will likely keep the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL alive for many years to come, especially considering the earliest Google device with official builds is currently the Nexus 6 from 2014. It shouldn’t be up to the custom ROM community to keep these devices alive a while longer, but that’s where we are at this point.
Google also removed the Pixel 3 from its software support help article at some point last year. The page now lists the Pixel 3 under a message that reads, “The following Pixel phones no longer receive Android version updates and security updates.”