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(Pocket-lint) - Google has confirmed that the original Pixel phone is going to receive one more security and software update, in December, and after that it's no longer supported. There will be no more security patches or added features from then on. 

The original Pixel was launched in 2016 as the first completely in-house smartphone designed and built to Google's own plans, following years of relying on third party manufacturers to build its Nexus smartphone line


When it launched, it was only ever guaranteed to get two years of software updates. That means, theoretically, its last major software upgrade should have been Android 9 Pie in 2018. Then Google surprised owners by allowing them to install 2019's Android 10. 

Despite just reaching into its fourth year of updates, this is where it ends for the original Pixel. 

What this shows is that, while Google has reached further than it originally intended or promised with its first home made phone, it still has a little way to go if it's going to compete with the software updates offered by Apple.  

As an example, iOS 13 - which launched on iPhone this year - is compatible with devices as old as the iPhone 6s, which launched in 2015.

If up to date software is of importance to you though, the Google Pixel is still the shining light in the world of Android devices. Offering current software on a three year old device is far from being the norm. 

Third party manufacturers on the whole prioritise the latest and greatest devices when releasing updates, and that can often mean that phones even just one year old can be left waiting for a long time before being updated, or at worst, neglected. 

It might not matter so much when it comes to new features, but one could argue that having a phone without the very latest security patches can leave you vulnerable. 

With all of that being said, the Pixel marked a turning point in 2016, and by offering current software on a phone that was launched just over three years ago, it shows things are changing in the world of Android. 

In fact, with the latest tools used and offered by Google with Android 10, the company is making it easier than ever for phones to be updated. So even the tradition of waiting for ages with third party phones is shifting for the better. 

If you have the original Pixel, Google confirmed to The Verge that you'll be due to get your very last software update in December, and after that it might be time to think about upgrading. 

It might not be the biggest selling smartphone range in the world, but in so many ways, the Pixel shows what is possible on Android. If it can add a fourth year on to its update promise for later devices, the Pixel will be matching the iPhone for longevity, and that would be a momentous day indeed.

We get the feeling that's not very far from being possible. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.