Google’s Nexus devices typically have an update life cycle of 2 years. After that, you’ll have to say goodbye to receiving the latest and greatest features in future Android updates — unless you buy the newest Nexus phone. Although full updates end after two years, it has been unclear how long security updates continue, and the whole process of figuring out when your device will be cut off is confusing. Luckily, Google is finally making things clear as crystal.
If you head over to this support page for Nexus devices and their update cycles, you’ll find concrete dates listed for Nexus devices on when they’ll stop receiving Android software updates. The company has never given firm dates before, so this is a welcome change. Google’s most recent Nexus phones — the 5X and the 6P — will stop getting Android version updates after September 2017. That means those devices will likely receive Android O, and nothing after that.
Android version updates, like the upcoming Android N, come “for at least two years from when the device became available on the Google Store.” Keep in mind that Google simply can’t offer “guaranteed version updates” after these dates, so it doesn’t completely rule out future updates for these devices.
Security updates thankfully last a little longer at “3 years from availability or 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device.”
So the 2014 Nexus 9 tablet will no longer get Android version updates after October this year, but will continue to get security updates until the fall of 2017. The Nexus 5 stopped getting support last October, which is why it’s not slated to get Android N. The Nexus 6 was initially not listed in this device roundup, but after reaching out, Google says it was a clerical error and the list has now been updated to include the 2014 smartphone. The Nexus 6 will continue receiving updates until October 2016.
Two Nexus devices are rumored to come with Android N later this year, and reports suggest Huawei is slated to manufacture them — a solid choice given the success and general praise of the Nexus 6P.
Updated on 06-22-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in clarification from Google about the Nexus 6.