Surprise! Pixel 3a and 3a XL receive an unexpected OTA update

On Monday, Google released the monthly Android security patch as well as the quarterly Pixel feature drop. Those wearing a Pixel 4 and later received the updates, but Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL owners who didn’t expect to receive anything got their own special update. The first Pixel mid-rangers (released by Google in May 2019) received a surprise 10MB update that didn’t include the latest security patch.

The Verizon’s listing of this update for the Pixel 3a line says it contains software version SP2A.220505.006 but retains the May 2022 security level. The carrier states that “The current software update improves the performance of your device”. This week’s update has nothing to do with the expected final bon voyage update for the Pixel 3a line which is slated for next month.
The July update will be the last for the Pixel 3a series and will allow Google is giving Pixel 3a and 3a XL users a stable Android send. This latest update for mid-rangers will include fixes that will close all major exploits that have already been closed on other Pixel handsets.

The next Pixel models to have the wind in their sails (as RuPaul might say) will be the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The pair will lose Android support in October 2022 after receiving the OTA update to Android 14. It’s hard to believe that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are already facing EOL (End Of line) status before the end of this year.

To find the most recent update on your Pixel 3a and 3a XL, go to Settings > System > System update.
So what do you think of Google’s tradition of sending Pixel models out of support with a latest OTA update? Started with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, it gives device owners the confidence to continue using their older Pixel phones.