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How long will Google offer updates to your Nexus phone?

Google is giving its Nexus fans a clearer picture of when it will "retire" older devices and stop updating them with new Android software updates.

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Google has published a chart that shows when it will stop offering software updates to specific Nexus devices.

Josh Miller/CNET

All good things must come to an end. That's true even for smartphone-software updates.

Google

On Tuesday, Google updated its Nexus handset-support page to detail when certain models of its Nexus smartphones will stop getting software updates. This means that after a particular device is "retired," Google won't update it with the latest version of Android, its mobile operating system.

Since 2010 Google has been selling Nexus devices designed to showcase the company's latest Android software. The Nexus smartphones and tablets run what many refer to as "pure Android" software, which is stripped of additional programs loaded onto it by device manufacturers or wireless carriers. One of the benefits of owning a Nexus device has been the guarantee that users will get the latest version of the Android software as it's released. This isn't the case for other Android devices often sold through wireless operators, which can wait months to get updates.

But even Google can't support older hardware forever. The company is now giving its Nexus users a much clearer picture of how long their specific hardware will be supported. Check out the chart below to see which devices will be retired when. Users of older devices may still be able to get new Android updates by manually "flashing" or updating their devices with a custom ROM.