Android handset makers usually end support for their devices after 3-5 years. This means that as far as the OG Pixel is concerned, it is way past its “best by” date which means that the Android 13 update will never officially be coming to the phone.
But it appears that thanks to the work of developer Husson Pierre-Hugues, he has managed to get the update up and running on the Pixel handset. This is thanks to Google’s Project Treble framework where Pierre-Hugues managed to load a vendor version of the Android 13 update on the phone.
Took me a 4hrs to get Pixel 2016 up and running on A13 using TrebleDroid GSI and Google's latest vendor (2019), and that work will make a lot of devices boot GSI with no additional effort.
Google made Treble near perfect, it's a shame it's not being put to good use. pic.twitter.com/Ffv7MQKmHX
— Husson Pierre-Hugues (@phhusson) October 28, 2022
This is far from a perfect update because certain features do not work, like cellular connectivity, but other features do, like WiFi, GPS, testing, the fingerprint sensor, and so on. Unfortunately, if you were thinking of resurrecting your OG Pixel and give it the same treatment, it won’t be so easy.
This is because to utilize the Project Treble framework, you will need to have some coding knowledge and understand how updates are pushed through the framework, which means that it definitely isn’t a method for the average user. Plus, we imagine that most users of the OG Pixel have since moved on to newer handsets, so it’s not like you could get a lot out of this update if you’re successful.
Source: Mobile Syrup