Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones were launched at Google I/O 2019 earlier this week and the two phones skip a few features that were seen on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in order to offer an aggressive retail price. A fresh report now reveals that the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones come with the outdated March Android security patch out-of-the-box. Further, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the availability of Android Q beta for the new Pixel smartphones. Even though the official Android Q beta page says that the phones will also not be able to be a part of the Android Q beta program till June of this year, Google has published the Android Q beta factory images and OTA files on its website for the new phones.
Talking about the older security patch level first, it has been revealed that both Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are being sold with the dated March Android Security patch, even though Pixel phones are normally the first Android devices to get a new security update. 9to5Google was the first to spot older security patch level, and the same was confirmed by Gadgets 360 on our Pixel 3a XL review unit.
Google has acknowledged the presence of the older security patch on the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL and the company told 9to5Google that it wasn't able to update the patch level due to the manufacturing schedule.
The tech giant has now said that the April, May, and June security patches will all be rolled out together on June 3, which is the first Monday of the month, for both new Pixel smartphones. Google says this is to “ensure the best customer experience.”
Separately, Google has updated the Android beta program page to note that the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL users will be eligible to enrol for the Android Q Beta program from June onwards. While the post doesn't mention an exact date, it can be assumed that the support will arrive at the same time as next Android Q Beta version. However, there are a few users, who are reporting that they were able to use the opt-in Beta program method to get Android Q on their Pixel 3a phone, even though the phones are missing from the Android Q Devices list. To make the things even weirder, the Android Developer page has already published the factory images and OTA files for the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL to download Android Q Beta 3 manually.
Hopefully, Google will make things clear over the next few days.
Has Google Pixel 3a's pricing ruined its prospects in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.