Verizon will be in charge of making sure its Google Pixel models get Android updates

There’s was a brief moment during this week’s Google hardware event when everyone following online had a momentary panic attack. The words “Verizon exclusive” were floated and those watching at home understandably tensed up. Carrier exclusives are, of course, ultimately rough for the consumer.

Thankfully, however, the contract-averse will be able to pick an unlocked and unbranded model directly from Google. A little more good news: Google is putting itself in charge of the ever-important security updates for the Verizon-branded version of the device.

The less good news: According to a note provided to 9 to 5 Google from the software giant it covers, the carrier will be doling out updates to Android, subject to its internal software certification process, which could ultimately gunk up the works, causing some delays in the process. A bummer for a phone positioned as the harbinger of the bleeding edge of Android — the first to ship with version 7.1.

Here’s the full statement in all of its pithy glory,

Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store.

So, another reason, perhaps, to take a good, long look at an unlocked Pixel.

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