One of the best things about owning a Pixel device is the quick updates you get from Google: not only is your phone updated quickly but you have access to the factory image for the device going forwards. For many tinkerers of the operating system, or those who want to get the update straight away and flash it manually, having the factory image is a godsend.
With devices about to start landing in hands Google have already released the factory images for folks to flash onto devices as required. Now that the factory images are available it makes it safe for people to start tinkering with the phone knowing that there is now a way to rollback to a functional device should something go wrong.
Google have posted the factory images on their usual update page so if you are interested in grabbing it, or having a look through the image itself head on over and grab it.
Nearly simultaneously with the factory image release has been the kernel source release. Many manufacturers take months to release the kernel source (if at all), something they are required by law to do once they have the device on the market. It is great to see Google leading by example — now if only more companies followed suit. The kernel source will allow developers to get cracking on building custom recoveries and kernels for the devices. If you are interested head over to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s device tree source and their kernel source.
While the factory image and kernel sources are useful for a minority of people the fact that Google has them ready before the devices land in the hands of consumers shows their commitment to fast updates. As we always say if you want fast updates, get a Pixel.