A post by the manager of the Android Beta Program's Google+ page seems to indicate that Developer Preview 2 of Android 7.1 is slated to go live shortly. Orrin Hancock, owner of the page, says that DP2 actually began rolling out today, but we've not received any tips suggesting that's the case. No one who has replied to the thread seems to have gotten it, either, so perhaps the rollout has been slightly delayed or extremely, incredibly, strangely limited (I would hedge on the former).
Anyway, Android 7.1.1 DP2 will apparently be available for the Nexus 6P, 5X, Nexus 9, Android One, and Pixel C. Read More
After having it removed in favor of the Pixel-only (for now) Night light feature in Android 7.1, Nexus fans have been a bit upset that the screen tinting Night Mode option was axed from their handsets. While only implemented as part of Google's experiment test zone, the system UI tuner, Night Mode struck a chord for a number of reasons (which aren't worth getting into here), and taking it away had Nexus owners a bit, well, cranky. Enough so that people have been submitting the feature's sudden absence in Android 7.1 as a bug. (Technically, Night Mode was removed in the later 7.0 developer previews, but if you didn't wipe your handset, the quick settings tile to enable it didn't go away for quite some time after that, and an app later was still able to access it via a simple workaround.) Read More
There was a time some years ago that CyanogenMod was the surest way to get the latest build of Android on your phone. It's a little slower these days, but development continues to chug along. The CM team hopes to roll out the first nightly builds of CM14.1 later tonight, but not all devices will be supported right away. Read More
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. Read More
Google introduced a simple fingerprint scanner gesture on the Pixel and Pixel XL that allows you to "swipe" the scanner to access the notification shade. This was not brought to the Nexus 5X and 6P, though, despite being an Android 7.1 feature, and the devices use the same fingerprint scanner hardware as the new Pixels. After some confusion, technical reasons were offered up for the lack of support for the feature - namely: the firmware version of the scanner on the old phones wasn't capable of implementing it, but that a firmware update was seemingly possible - it seemed that Google could potentially add the feature to the 5X and 6P, but for one reason or another chose not to. Read More
Many Nexus 5X and 6P owners were understandably annoyed after discovering that several of the headline features announced for the new Pixel and Pixel XL would not be coming to their own devices. The Nexus line had always been synonymous to getting the latest and greatest directly from Google, and suddenly realizing that wasn't entirely true in a post-Nexus era left some users with a bad taste in their mouth.
To add insult to injury, it had recently come to light that both the Nexus 6P and the Pixel shared the exact same fingerprint sensor, triggering the habitual witch hunt on Reddit because of the former's lack of fingerprint swipe gestures. Read More
One of the more interesting things to emerge from the digital revolution is hacking competitions and prizes, wherein benevolent "white hat" hackers are invited to try and defeat hardware and software in a closed environment. The latest mobile-only edition of the Pwn2Own competition was sponsored by software security company Trend Micro, offering cash prizes to anyone who could get user info, install rogue apps, or completely unlock some of the biggest mainstream phones out there: the Nexus 6P, the Galaxy S6, and the iPhone 6s. Read More
Ah, the iPhone 6 Plus. Not only was it Apple's first phablet, but after many owners realized that their shiny, huge new iPhones were bending in their pockets, it also became the phone that truly introduced bend tests to the world.
YouTuber Zack from JerryRigEverything performs durability tests on almost every flagship smartphone that gets globally released, and when the world saw him do one (and then another) on a Nexus 6P, it was shocked at the Huawei-built device's seemingly twig-like snapping. Now, Zack has posted a video of himself testing the Google Pixel's durability, and its performance in this arena is definitely more impressive than last year's Google flagship's. Read More
The Android 7.1 developer preview is rolling out, so Nexus phones are getting their first taste of the software shipping on the Pixel. Since it's a dev preview, it can be hard to know if missing features are missing because they're not done, or if they just aren't going to be included at all. Googler Ian lake has clarified that two features not listed as Pixel-exclusive still won't be coming to existing Nexus phones—night light and fingerprint reader gestures. Read More