Developer resurrects OG Pixel with Android 13

If you want to put new Android on an old phone this ones for you

If you want to spend a few hours playing around with your old first-generation Pixel this week, you can now load Android 13 on it.

Savvy Android tinkerer Husson Pierre-Hugues has been able to use Google’s Project Treble framework to good use to load a vendor version of Android 13 on his ancient smartphone.

The Android 13-powered OG Pixel isn’t perfect since it can’t access a data connection, but Wi-Fi, GPS, texting, the fingerprint sensor and calling still work. This is excellent news since Google’s Pixel phone stopped receiving system updates after Android 10. That said, it’s important to note that this isn’t something most people will be able to do.

To run Android 13 on a Pixel or Pixel XL requires coding and knowledge of how Google pushes updates to non-Pixel devices through its Project Treble framework. Treble is a developer tool that allows manufacturers like Samsung and OnePlus to quickly swap out the Android version underneath their Android OS skin when new updates release.

This allows for faster updates in theory, but in the case of the original Pixel getting Android 13, it lets Pierre-Hugues apply the update to specific sections of the phone. This is why most of the Pixel works, but he can’t use his data plan.

It’s interesting to see Android 13 running on such an old device, but the real silver lining is how a random Android enthusiast has been able to take advantage of treble. Ideally, years later, this will finally help big brands update their smartphones with consistency and efficiency. However, as we saw back in August, it doesn’t seem like manufacturers are picking up Android updates faster than before.

For comparison, Apple released the iPhone 7 series in 2016, the same year as the first Pixel, and the iPhone no longer gets official updates either.

Source: Husson Pierre-Hugues Via: Android Police