Getting the newest updates on Google Pixel phones hasn’t always been the easiest process. You could hope that the “Check for updates” button works this month, wait for Google’s slow rollout of a new update to eventually land on your phone, or manually flash the newest builds through a command prompt and ADB. That last option still terrifies people to this day, even if the process isn’t all that difficult.
With a bit of news today from the Android Developers team,
I can’t help but wonder if they are considering a way to make that process easier for you and I. The Android Developers team announced the Android Flash Tool, which lets you flash AOSP builds to Pixel phones through the Chrome browser on your desktop with a couple of clicks.
Now, to be clear, this is not a Pixel update tool. You aren’t going to use this with February’s Android security patch.
This is for developers who want to flash the newest AOSP builds for testing purposes by connecting their phone to a computer, clicking a couple of buttons, and getting that new build. Rather than compiling or ADB-ing or fast booting and all that intimidating stuff, now, you just need a browser and a cable to connect to your supported phone.
I just gave it a shot, plugged in a Pixel 3, and sure enough, there were two builds showing as available for me.
I didn’t flash them because I’m not a developer (and you need an unlocked bootloader), but I can see how simple this process is and that’s quite exciting.
How cool would this be as a way to get updates for your Pixel 2 or Pixel 3 or Pixel 4?
To give it a try or at least check it out, head over to flash.android.com.