Now that painful printing is becoming a thing of the past for Chrome OS, it looks like Google is set to tackle what is arguably the next biggest gripe of Chromebook users. The Chrome OS Auto Update Policy (a.k.a., End of Life policy) was once of little concern to most users for the plain and simple fact that Chromebooks were cheap, nearly disposable devices. Fast forward a few years and we have machines like the Dell Latitude 5300 that will run you upwards of $1700 and that’s with a discount from Dell. End of Life becomes a much more pertinent conversation when you’re talking this kind of cash.
Thankfully, Google has taken notice of this now egregious update policy and are doing something about it. At the end of September, the Auto Update Policy was extended for eight Chrome devices and that was a big deal for some as it included some newer Chromebooks that had a short shelf life due to the aging hardware on which the had been produced.
Today’s news, however, is exponentially exciting as it appears that Google has extended the End of Life for more than 130 devices with some getting nearly two years of added updates. Some of the more notable devices include Google’s own Chromebook Pixel 2015 and the Pixel Slate which added one year and two years respectively. HP’s original Chromebook X360 14 was extended to June of 2025 and the ASUS Chromebook C302 gained an extra 6+ months with a new AUE date of June 2023.
You can find the Auto Update Expiration for all Chrome devices at Google’s official support page here. If you are unsure of your device’s original AUE date, Corbin Davenport of Android Police took the time to compile the entire list of updated devices that you can find here. Another thing to point out about this update is the fact that any verbiage surrounding any actual amount of time has been removed from the policy page. What used to be five years was updated to six and a half but now, it simply states:
These updates depend on many device specific non-Google hardware and software providers that work with Google to provide the highest level of security and stability support. For this reason, older Chrome devices cannot receive updates indefinitely to enable new OS and browser features.Google Support
This may seem like a cop-out on Google’s part to alleviate the responsibility of setting a hard date for AUE but I feel like this is more along the lines of the Chrome OS team exploring ways to extend the life of devices for as long as they safely are able. Depending on the hardware, that could be different for various devices. I doubt we’ll have to worry about a Chromebook getting its life cut short. With any luck, developers will eventually get back to a set-in-stone timeline for how long Chrome OS will be supported on a given device. Ten years would be a solid number, in my opinion, and I feel like that’s the path that we’re on at the moment.