The Pixel and Pixel XL will be rootable, Google confirms
If you are an Android fan with a knack for tinkering with tech, you may have been worried about the rootability of Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL. Amidst early rumors that Big G's first in-house developed phones may not be as keen to grant you root access as previous Nexus devices, many people became frustrated at the notion of Android losing its openness. Worry not, however, as Google has confirmed first hand that the Pixel and Pixel XL's bootloaders will indeed be unlockable, which in turn would make the phones possible to root. If you made your purchase from Google's online store, that is, as Verizon-exclusive units will have their bootloaders locked permanently.
The folks over at WonderHowTo have reached to Google to inquire on the matter and got official confirmation from Google spokesperson Iska Saric:
Unlockable bootloaders mean that the floodgates for custom recoveries and auto rooting tools will be wide open on day one, and developers will no doubt get cracking on it immediately.
Unfortunately, rooted Pixel phones won't be able to receive OTA updates, which is a huge downer, but this has been the case with Nexus devices as well. Rooting entails modifying partitions, and if the update utility detects modified partitions, OTA updates simply fail to apply.