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security patches

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Google's November system images and OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices are (mostly) live [Update: Pixel 2 XL OTA rolling out]

The month is getting underway, and that means it's time for Google to issue its monthly raft of Pixel and Nexus updates. The updates will filter down to phones in the next day or so, but the system images and OTA files for most devices are available now if you want to sideload. There's not a ton new here, but as this is a November patch level, you should have protection from the KRACK vulnerability.

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Amid much confusion, Pixels and Nexuses are finally starting to receive September security OTAs

A few days ago, we reported on Android's September security bulletin, in which Google seemed to suggest the latest security patches for most Pixel and Nexus devices came bundled with the late-August upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo. That turns out not to be the case, however, as our devices have all been stuck on the August 5th security patch level. There's still a fair amount of confusion swirling, but some users seem to be receiving September OTAs with up-to-date security patches at last.

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Google posts July OTA files and system images for Pixel and Nexus devices

It's that time again—Google is rolling out monthly security patches for Nexus and Pixel devices, but you don't have to wait. The system images and OTA files are now live and ready for your sideloading pleasure. In addition, the monthly security bulletin is available for your perusal if you want to know what's being patched this time around.

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Google adds the Pixels to its end-of-life support page

One of the bummers about buying electronic devices is that you know there will be a point after which the manufacturer will no longer keep the software updated. We usually hope for at least two years when talking about smartphones, though some OEMs barely even reach half that time. One of the benefits to buying Google's phones nowadays is that the company now maintains a page where you can see the end-of-life for those devices.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Tapping the security patch date loads the security bulletin in your browser

Google started including the security patch version in the About Phone menu last year in the wake of the Stagefright vulnerability. This is simply a date that tells you which patch level a device runs. As of Android 7.1, that line in the settings is more than just a date. It's also a link to the security bulletins.

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AOSP changelog posted for October's Nougat security updates

We're closing in on the announcement for new hardware that will carry the next version of Android, surely to be labeled 7.1. If you're looking for something to do in the meantime, we've put together some changelogs for the latest security updates, released just yesterday. The changelogs are a compilation of the messages left with each code commit to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

So far, five new builds have been posted, all for Android 7.0 Nougat. But the build numbers don't quite match up correctly with many of the firmware images. This could very possibly be a typo where the letters 'B' and 'R' may have been accidentally transposed.

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[Update: Changelogs posted for Nexus 6P] AOSP changelog posted for September's Nougat and Marshmallow security updates

September's security updates have been posted for most of the Nexus family, although a few devices are still mysteriously lagging behind on official Nougat images. The source code for most of the changes has been uploaded to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and we've generated a list of those changes for quick and easy viewing. The security bulletin already details most of the issues resolved this month, but there may be additional details lurking behind the code, so feel free to take a look around.

There are currently five new builds posted: three for Marshmallow (MMB30W, MOB31E, MTC20K) and two for Nougat (NRD90R, NRD90S).

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AOSP changelog posted for Android Nougat v7.0.0_r1 (NRD90M)

Android 7.0 Nougat is now truly official and available to those of us toting around certain Nexus devices. The hardware support will grow soon, and seemingly more quickly than versions in the past. We've already seen much of what 7.0 has to offer, but there's surely much more to discover.

As always, along with the brand new firmware comes some brand new source code. There's entirely too much for one person to look through, so we instead generate a log of the changes from a previous version to make it easier to read. This is how we get some idea of what the developers at Google have been up to while they were behind the curtain.

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AOSP changelogs posted for August security patches, developer preview 5, Wear preview 2, and a mystery Lollipop update for the Nexus 10

The odds are pretty good that if you're using a still-supported Nexus device, it's probably running August's security update by now. The factory images became available on Monday of last week and OTAs have been intermittently rolling out since then. The push to AOSP took a little longer and finally included a couple of other tags that were behind schedule. All of the changes have been compiled into their respective lists and the changelogs are ready for perusal.

Google's Android Security Bulletin details the potential vulnerabilities addressed by the August updates, but it's not too rare to see other small bug fixes and adjustments hidden among the changes.

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AOSP Changelogs Posted For July's Android 6.0.1 Security Updates

July's security updates went live a couple of days ago for all of the currently supported Nexus devices. The Pixel C is still unaccounted for, but it's not that unusual for it to lag a few days behind. There were some late-breaking updates for hardware drivers this month, which may also contribute to some delay on the Pixel C. In the meantime, there are plenty of changes to check out this month.

There are eight separate changelogs this month, but some of these are empty, created for Google's internal use. I've marked the ones that simply change a build number. As usual, Google's security bulletin contains explanations for most of the changes, but there are probably a couple of subtle bug fixes too.

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