A Verizon spokesperson has reached out to Ars with the following
corrections about its version of the Pixel:
“First and foremost, all operating system and security updates to
the Pixel devices will happen in partnership with Google. In other
words, when Google releases an update, Verizon phones will receive
the same update at the same time (much like iOS updates). Verizon
will not stand in the way of any major updates and users will get
all updates at the same time as Google.
Also, the Verizon version of the Google Pixel is carrier unlocked,
so you can use it where ever you like. Finally, we have three apps
pre-installed on the phone Go90, My Verizon (which is your account
management tool) and Verizon Messages (your messaging app). As you
noted, all three can easily be uninstalled by the user.”
Assuming this pans out, it’s the closest anyone has gotten to Apple’s total control over the software on its phones. The only difference: the (removable) pre-installed Verizon crapware apps.