Each month Google releases security updates and fixes for both Android in general, and its most recent first-party hardware. This month is no exception. OTAs and factory images for Nexus and Pixel devices are now live, as is this month's security bulletin, functional patches for which seem to include a fix for the Pixel 2 XL's proximity sensor issues. Read More
The Nexus 6 had a long run for a phone originally released in 2014, but last October seemed to mark the end of software updates. For a phone that stopped seeing major Android upgrades in 2016, Google kept security updates rolling until 2017—even if they sometimes came with some unfortunate and obnoxious baggage. Now here we are in 2018, and somewhat randomly a new update seems to be rolling out for the Nexus 6.
The new build is N8I11F, and so far as we can tell, the only difference seems to be a change in baseband. It's still Android Nougat 7.1.1, it's still on the October 2017 security patch, and the kernel version appears to be the same. Read More
Every month Google's ritual of regular security updates keeps our Pixel and Nexus devices safe from both real and imaginary electronic boogeymen. These updates usually land sometime in the first week of the month, and like clockwork, here they are. Google has just posted both the May 2018 OTA files and system images for its Pixels and remaining supported Nexus devices, as well as the latest general Android and first-party security bulletins. Read More
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM by far, and the project continues to update more devices to version 15.1 (based on Android 8.1 Oreo). Last time we covered LineageOS, the OnePlus 2, Pixel C, and Nexus 6 received Oreo. Since then, several more devices have been updated, including Google's flagship phone from 2012. Read More
Android Auto's Wireless mode was rumored for months before we got official confirmation of it. JVC and Kenwood introduced a total of 7 Auto head units with Wi-Fi connectivity as an option at this year's CES, but until now even if you just got one of these new units, you couldn't use the mode as your phone wasn't ready for that. Now Google has flipped the switch: wireless mode for Android Auto is enabled on Nexus and Pixel devices.
According to Cody's teardowns, version 3.0 of Auto was nearly ready for the Wireless mode, but it's v3.1 that's required (APK Mirror link) to get things properly working. Read More
After much anticipation, LineageOS 15.1 (based on Android 8.1) was announced last month. Only a handful of devices had official 15.1 builds at the start, but over time, more have been moved up to Oreo. The Nexus Player, OnePlus One, and Oppo Find 7 were recently added to the roster - and now three more devices are coming. Read More
Google's monthly tradition continues—owners of Pixel and (some) Nexus devices can grab the latest software builds. The updates will roll out automatically in the coming days, but you don't have to wait. The OTA files and system images have both shown up, and there are bulletins documenting the surprisingly extensive list of changes. Read More
What makes the camera on Google's Pixel phones so good has more to do with the software than the hardware. Google's image processing is far ahead of its rivals, which is why it can boast a competitive Portrait Mode with only a single camera. Thanks to the Camera NX mod, it's possible to get similar results on many other phones, including non-Google ones.
Version 5.2 of the official Google Camera app was released last week, and it actually removes some functionality from 2015's Nexus 6P and 5X. They lose HDR+ (likely because the new version was built with Android P in mind, which neither of those phones will be getting) and Lens Blur (which has been replaced by Portrait Mode on the Pixels). Read More
Google's ARCore technology is building steam since its initial test launch on Pixel and Galaxy S8 phones. This came with a promise to support more phones, which was followed a few weeks later with a half-dozen more phones added during MWC. To keep the momentum going, Google also featured nearly 90 new apps and games that made use of ARCore in some way. Now with the latest update, we can likely guess at the next phones on the list. Read More
After three years of official support, Google confirmed yesterday that the long-lived Nexus Player would no longer receive Android updates. While Android Oreo will continue to serve most users just fine, the custom ROM community will likely keep it updated for years to come. LineageOS already supported the set-top box with Nougat builds, but now it has been updated to Android 8.1 Oreo. Read More