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.
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When it comes to luxury cases for your phone or tablet, few fit the bill like Noreve. The French couture designer from Saint Tropez makes some of the most beautiful phone and tablet cases available today. Each case is handcrafted and fits the devices they are designed for perfectly. I’ve had the opportunity to review many of their cases over the years for a wide range of devices and when they contacted me to review the Ambition folio case for my Nexus 9 tablet, I couldn’t pass up the chance. If you want a case that not only provides protection for your tablet but looks stunning as you use it, this case is for you. Here is my review.
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For those who have Nexus devices, the July Security Update for Android is now rolling out via an OTA update. The update, 2 of them this month, were released last week on July 6th along with factory images and OTA images that users could flash to their devices manually. With Google now pushing the updates out to Nexus devices, users will get the update as they usually do each month. If you recall, this month’s update was split into two parts. The first update, dated July 1st, was more a general fix for Android while the one dated July 6th was more driver specific updates for specific devices. Google’s stated intent was to get the first update out so all of their partners could update their devices quickly without having to wade through driver tests for things their their devices just don’t use.
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Like many of you, I spent much of late yesterday afternoon downloading the latest Android N Developer Preview. Preview 4 is very close to the finished product and with it having the final API set that will be released with the public release, it feels far more polished than Preview 3 ever felt on my Nexus 6 or Nexus 9. It is ready for prime time? No, but it is close. Really close in fact. I’ve put together my thoughts on the overall performance and stability of the release as it relates to my two devices. Obviously your mileage will vary but for now, I’m happy to share my thoughts to help you decide if you want to jump in on the beta.
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It is the first of the month which means it is time for the monthly Android Security Bulletin to be released along with updated images for Nexus devices. The June update is now on the Android Developer site in the factory images while OTA updates to Nexus devices will begin in short order. Google has also released the full bulletin for the update, outlining all of the things that were addressed in the update. In all there were 21 security updates in the release, six of which were considered critical in nature. Google points out in the bulletin that no known exploitation of the issues are known but they are addressing them anyway to keep users safe and secure.
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Google has made a small but important update to the Android Developer site that brings the OTA images of the latest updates to Android Marshmallow for Nexus devices which can be downloaded. Before now, Google has had the full images of updates available for Nexus owners to update their devices but it required a full install and subsequent reset of their devices. Now developers and users who like to flash their devices manually can do just the OTA update instead of having to do a full reset of their device.
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After a long run as the flagship tablet for Google, the Nexus 9 era has come to an end as far as the Mountain View company is concerned. An update today to the Google Store has removed all references to the Nexus 9 and you can no longer order it directly from them. That doesn’t mean however that you still can’t get your hands on one through Amazon. The 9 debuted with Android Lollipop in 2014 and even though it will be upgraded to Android N, Google has shifted their tablet focus for now to the new flagship, the Pixel C.
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Let’s get your first question out of the way: Why am I posting a review on a tablet that is over a year old? Fair question.
The why is pretty simple. If you are looking for a well spec’d, well designed tablet for under $300, the Nexus 9 remains one of the best options on the market today. Yes you could go with a Pixel C but that $300 barrier comes into play. Yes you could get another brand tablet for less money but when it comes to a pure Android experience, the Nexus 9 is very hard to beat. And while I certainly focus a lot of attention on the latest devices and apps, there are times where something just a little bit older still does an amazing job at a lower cost than their replacement devices today.
So justifications made, I have no hesitation in recommending the HTC built Nexus 9 if you are looking for a sub-$300 tablet that performs exceptionally well and is going to be around for a while given that you can already load the Android N beta onto it. I’ve been using one for the past several weeks and it is wonderful device that performs well for those who need a reasonably sized tablet.
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