Google has once again updated their support matrix for the Nexus and Pixel lineup of devices. Previously the company had outlined dates of when major updates and minor security updates would cease for the devices. There is nothing new here in that regard. What is new is the dates for the end of online and phone support for the devices. The good news, or at least the non-confusing news, is that online & phone support ends when security updates end on the devices.
Take the Nexus 6 for example. There are no guaranteed Android updates to the device since October 2016. No, Android O is not coming to the Nexus 6. Sorry, I loved it too. In October 2017, guaranteed security updates end and that is also when online and phone support ends for the device. Other devices follow this same timing.
Continue reading “Google Further Clarifies End of Support for Nexus & Pixel Devices”
Following the process set for the last Nexus lineup, Google has updated their Android software update page with information on the Google Pixel lineup. Major version support for the devices will end next year, October 2018 while Android security updates will end a year later in October 2019. While Google phrases this as “not guaranteed”, it is pretty much a lock that the devices won’t see updates after these dates.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to Pixel owners. Google has said they will support phones for 3 years after release or 18 months from when the device was last sold in the Google Store, whichever is longer. This is the cadence they setup on such updates with the release of the Nexus 6P and 5X although it had been somewhat implied prior to those devices. As an owner of a Pixel XL, I’d love to see support longer but the reality is, for Google, developing an Android build for a 3+ year old device is expensive with little incentive for them to do it. Remember that they, just like any other manufacture, want you to upgrade at some point.
Continue reading “Google Pixel Lineup Security Support Ends in October 2019”
The Google Pixel XL, and its smaller sibling the Pixel, were released in October 2016. At the time of their launch, they were lauded by many as the benchmark for other Android phones. Samsung at the time was still dealing with the debacle that was the Galaxy Note7 while companies like Huawei had solid phones but less-than-stellar user experience in EMUI 4.0. Even the younger kids on the block like OnePlus were touting their phones but from an overall experience, none of them matched the Pixel XL.
Fast forward six months. Is the Pixel XL still a benchmark device? In my opinion, absolutely. It is from many perspectives: Performance, photo quality, and perhaps most importantly, the upgrade experience. If there is one thing that the Google Pixel lineup offers that virtually no others do, it is a pure, as Google intended it, Android experience. Others are close – Motorola and OnePlus – but none are unadulterated Android. When the Pixel was announced, the immediate response was “iPhone copycat” and, to be fair, it is a bit true. If you hold a Pixel up to an iPhone 7, minus the Home button, they look strikingly similar on the front. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. Apple, love them or hate them, has done a great job of selling iPhones these past few years and it is a proven look for a smartphone.
Unlike deep dive reviews of phones I’ve done here on the site, I’m not going to do that with the Pixel XL. Instead, I’m going to highlight three key areas that I think make the phone a benchmark by which to measure other phones in the market. You may feel different, and that’s okay. We are all adults and can have a healthy debate on it.
Continue reading “Google Pixel XL – A Benchmark Six Months On”
After being released on Monday for the unlocked variants, the Android Nougat 7.1.2 update for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL on Verizon has now been released. The build for the Verizon Pixels is NHG47K, slightly different than the release for the unlocked devices. That build was N2G47E. The update is under 500MB in size but it is a good idea to download via Wi-Fi for speed and data plan savings. Once downloaded, the update will take about 15 minutes to install and your phone will reboot once it is completed.
Th update for the Verizon variants contain the same updates as the unlocked versions of the Pixel and Pixel XL. This includes improvements around Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, backup improvements to restore data from 1st-party apps like Calendar, and the April 2017 Android Security Patch.
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The 2nd and likely the last beta of Android Nougat 7.1.2 has begun rolling out to those enrolled in the Android Beta program. The update brings additional bug fixes and refinements to the first beta which, on the whole, is a bug fix and refinement release for Nougat. While there is no official word on when the general public will see 7.1.2, it is likely not far away. Generally the first beta was solid and this second appears to be smoothing out a few rough edges. It feels complete at this point.
While the focus is on bug fixes and refinements, this beta does bring a few new things to the table. First, for those of you with a Nexus 6P, you finally get the fingerprint scanner swipe action that has been on the Nexus 5X since the first beta. If you remember, the first beta for the 6P was delayed by about three weeks and didn’t come with the ability to swipe down and read notifications. That seems to have been addressed in this second beta.
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If you have been wanting to pick up the Google Pixel XL, you need to go to the Google Store. Like, right now. I’ll wait….
For the first time in weeks the XL is in stock and available for order. Google has a mighty time keeping up with demand on both the Pixel and the Pixel XL and usually the phone shows out of stock in all colors and variants. Right now at least, you can pick up the XL in Silver or Black with 32GB of storage. The 128GB variants still remain out of stock as does the Really Blue color.
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Thanks to a leak from Vodafone Australia, it looks like owners of the Nexus 6P and Google Pixel lineup will be seeing the Android Nougat 7.1.1 update starting next Monday, December 5th. For the Nexus 6P, the updated build will be NMF26F and will bring app shortcuts to the phone as well as the December Android Security Update. As readers will remember, the 7.1.1 update has been in beta for a few months now and the second and expected to be final Developer Preview dropped last week. Google has said very early on that the 7.1.1 update would be coming in early December so the December 5th date lines up well with what has been publicly stated from the company.
Continue reading “Android Nougat 7.1.1 Expected Release is December 5th”