Google rolls out Pixel VPN update, No Android 14 QPR3 needed

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Google rolls out Pixel VPN update, No Android 14 QPR3 needed
Image credit — Google

Google is rolling out a fresh update for its Pixel VPN app through the Play Store. Interestingly, users of the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a, and Fold won't need the Android 14 QPR3 update to install it. This is significant news for Pixel 7 users as it brings the replacement for the subscription-based Google One VPN service, which is set to be discontinued on June 20.

The updated Pixel VPN made its debut with the Pixel 8 series in October of last year. It boasts a smoother integration compared to its predecessor, eliminating the persistent notification icon that previously occupied the status bar. Now, according to this report, users will only see a discreet key icon on the right side of the status bar when the VPN is active.

This update also includes a rebranding effort, changing the name of the app and service from "VPN by Google One" to simply "VPN by Google" across various areas within the app and system settings. Accompanying this change is a new blue shield icon with a "G" at its center, which will appear in specific locations like the Network & internet settings and the Recent apps screen.

New "VPN by Google" vs old "VPN by Google One" branding | Image credit — 9to5Google

The version number of this updated Pixel VPN app is 1.0.635841321, and it's currently being rolled out to Pixel 8, 8 Pro, and 8a devices through the Play Store. If you have a Pixel 7 device running Android 14 QPR2 and haven't received the June Feature Drop yet, you can still install the new VPN by visiting the Google Play listing directly. According to reports, it functions flawlessly even without the latest Android update.

After installation, users can set up the VPN by opening it from the app listing and enabling notifications and mobile network usage. It's important to note that adding the new Quick Settings tile and removing the old one must be done manually.

As a side note, while the Pixel VPN offers enhanced privacy and security for Google Pixel users, it does not allow users to select specific server locations, which may limit its ability to unblock geo-restricted content. It also lacks advanced features like a kill switch, split tunneling, or support for torrenting.

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This latest update is a welcome addition for Pixel users, especially those on the Pixel 7 series who will continue to have access to a VPN service even after the Google One VPN is discontinued.

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