If you own a Pixel or Pixel XL, you might have encountered an annoying bug where the phone's Bluetooth connection would randomly shut off. You could still turn it back on, but it could shut off again without warning. Not the kind of software quality you would expect from a $650+ device. Read More
As the world turns, so too does the cycle of Android updates. The first part of 2017's version bump, known only as Android O for the time being, was just announced. And just like the last two years, developer preview versions will be available for some of the latest officially supported Google hardware. This year that list includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, and Pixel XL phones, the Pixel C tablet, and the Nexus Player Android TV set-top box. You can download the new images here. Read More
Android O is launching in preview state today, but you'll have to manually flash the OS to your test device to get a taste. The images and flashing instructions can be found here.
As a reminder, the Nexus 5X, 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel, and Pixel XL are the supported devices at this time. Google is not offering the O preview as part of the Android Beta Program for now (that will come later, of course), probably to discourage those who would try to daily drive an unfinished OS.
Google has said rather clearly that this early release is intended explicitly for developers and "not intended for daily or consumer use." If you remember the first Android N developer previews from last year, you'll know that's probably not an exaggeration, as many, many things were broken in the earliest builds. Read More
Android Beta Program testers with the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Nexus Player will all soon be receiving a new Android 7.1.2 update to build NPG47I. Orrin Hancock announced the update on Google+ just a few minutes ago, but we're already receiving tips that the update is rolling out to devices. Full factory images don't appear to be live yet.
It's not clear what changes the update brings at this time, but we'll let you know if we find anything, obviously. Have you received the update yet? Noticing anything new? Feel free to chime in. Read More
Just yesterday, Android Police exclusively reported on the codenames of the next Pixel phones, 'muskie' and 'walleye.' Google's products have long carried codenames inspired by aquatic animals, such as 'hammerhead' (Nexus 5), 'shamu' (Nexus 6), 'angler' (Nexus 6P), etc. Now, we're hearing that Google may have a third device, codenamed 'taimen,' in the works. Read More
The Pixel and Pixel XL are the best phones Google has ever made. Good luck actually buying one, though. This is something we've been able to say about every phone Google has released, but the Pixel's supply issues seem much more pervasive than any of the Nexus phones were. After nearly five months on sale, the Pixel just went out of stock on the Google Store yet again. Read More
Corroborating information provided to us by a source, we can share the first public sighting of Google's next-generation Pixel phones: in the Android Open Source Project gerrit (and yes, that means it's running Android). We've only seen one of the phones - walleye - which we believe will be the smaller of Google's new Pixel devices. Muskie, the larger of the two, has not yet appeared. (For reference, last year, we only ever saw Marlin in the AOSP gerrit - there's no guarantee Muskie will ever show up there.)
At this point, we don't have any more information about the devices that we are yet confident enough to share. Read More
When the customer threads over on the Google Support Forum start to get hundreds of replies deep, you know there's a serious problem afoot. This one is affecting the Pixel and Pixel XL, and apparently occurring to a large enough subset of owners that Google is taking its response more seriously than the usual bug. Owners are reporting complete failure of one or more of their microphones, sometimes causing a total audio input block, sometimes occasionally working with the camera app while recording video. Read More
Factory images for the March 2017 security update for most supported Pixel and Nexus devices are now up on Google's developer sites here and here. That includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, Nexus 9 (+LTE), and Nexus 6. Builds for the Pixels are NOF27B for all variants except devices on Rogers, which should use build NOF27C.
The Nexus Player appears to be left out of the March updates at this point.
You can find the accompanying security bulletin here, which as usual lists a significant number of security threats that have now been eliminated. Read More
While Google and Samsung have long sought to talk up their various partnerships over the years, there is little doubt for me that 2017 will be the year in which the two giants go after one another more aggressively than ever before in their history. Samsung actively presents a threat to Android's diversity, and Google must step in to stem the bleeding of an increasingly unprofitable device ecosystem. Samsung's challenges in wearables, television, and smart home also are a major cause for concern to Google as Samsung increasingly leverages its smartphone dominance.
Samsung and Google have been close collaborators from the days of the original Galaxy S, a phone launched almost seven years ago. Read More