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factory images

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: A closer look at seamless updates, partition changes, and new fastboot commands

During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.

How it works

Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage.

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November's Nexus/Pixel factory images and OTA files are now available for download [Update]

Google's monthly Android patches are live, and it's a momentous occasion this time. This is the first cycle that the Pixel and Pixel XL are included in the lineup. In addition to the security patches, which can be read about in the security bulletin, this update should enable Daydream VR support on the Pixel phones. You can either wait for the update, or do it manually.

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Google posts initial factory images, OTAs, and driver binaries for Pixel and Pixel XL

Google has posted the first set of factory images for the Pixel (sailfish) and Pixel XL (marlin) on its developer site, along with driver binaries for the devices. Three image versions are available: NDE63H, NDE63L, and NDE63P. The third one began rolling out to Verizon devices today as an OTA update. The full OTA images are available here, as well.

That NDE63P update supposedly brings Wi-Fi fixes, so if you're on an earlier build and having trouble, this OTA may resolve it (I personally am still having 2.4/5GHz switching issues even on the 63P build).

You can download the factory images and the driver binaries at the links below which, yes, still contain 'Nexus' in the page title.

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[Update: More devices] Motorola posts factory image for Moto G4, removes all the other ones

If you need a factory image for Motorola's new Moto G4 (XT1624), there's good news. It's now available. If, however, you need a factory image for an older Motorola phone, you're out of luck. The Moto G4 is currently the only device with an official factory image available for download. The Moto G4 Plus is also not listed right now.

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[Update: Security bulletin is live] Nexus factory images and full system OTAs are now available with September's security updates, still missing Nougat images for the Nexus 6P, 6, and 9 LTE

The first round of security updates for Nougat is ready. It has only been eleven days since the official release of Android 7.0, but keeping with the regular schedule, new factory images and full system OTAs are now available for installation. There are also Marshmallow-based images with the latest security updates for many devices, including the Nexus 5, which will no longer officially receive major version updates. (Note: it looks like the OTA page lists the new updates, but the files aren't linked properly.

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[Update: Nexus 5X] The first Android 7.0 Nexus factory images are up

One of the benefits of Google's Nexus devices is that you can flash full factory images if something goes wrong. Google makes these files available for download each time a new OTA update rolls out, and the first few devices now have Nougat images. This could be just what you need to get your device back on a stock build of Android in a single step.

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[Update: Pixel C] Nexus factory images and OTA ZIPs with July's security updates are now available

The Factory images and OTA ZIPs for July 2016 are now available for the full line of supported Nexus hardware (still waiting for the Pixel C). They're a little behind schedule this month, possibly because it was Independence Day in the United States on Monday, or possibly to leave time for some late-breaking security patches that may have been added in the eleventh hour. The Android Security Bulletin covers the list of vulnerabilities addressed with this set of updates, and for the first time it includes two separate lists: one dated July 1st and the other dated July 5th.

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Google Now Posting Full OTA Images For Nexus Devices Alongside Factory Images

For a long time now, Google has made factory images available with each new system update for Nexus devices, but the problem was, you had to have an unlocked bootloader in order to flash them. Not anymore. Starting today, Google now offers full OTA images for all currently supported devices. These are not the incremental OTAs which sometimes take weeks to fully roll out. These are full OTA images that you can simply sideload with adb in recovery regardless of whether your bootloader is locked or not.

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May Nexus Factory Images Are Now Available For Download

It's the first Monday of May, and that means there are some new factory images and OTAs for the Nexus line. As usual, these new firmware packages include the latest security patches from the preceding month, and possibly some bug fixes and optimizations, as well. While we'll be looking for changes in the AOSP changelog (coming soon), Google has posted the security bulletin to explain the major risks that that have been fixed in this release.

Google took special care to point out that the security bulletin has been renamed (from "Nexus" to "Android") to reflect its relationship to all devices running Android, not just those directly supported by Google.

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Google Releases Android N Preview 2, Posts Images (NPC91K) For Nexus Devices

If you've been living the developer preview lifestyle, get ready for an update. There are new factory images available for download on Google's developer site. That means an OTA update for those who joined the beta won't be far off, but you can grab the full image if you want to update now.

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