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February 2018 Android 8.1 patches are live for Pixel and Nexus devices

It's time again for another update to Android, and it's rolling out to Google devices starting now. If you just can't wait for the OTA to reach you, there are some files you can download to skip the wait. It looks like most devices just have a single build this month, which will make things much easier.

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Updated January Android 8.1 OTA files and factory images for Verizon Pixel 2, Softbank and Telstra Nexus 5X and 6P are live

A few days ago, some users started receiving update notifications on their Pixel 2 and were wondering what was happening since, according to the official documentation, they were seemingly on the latest build number. Now Google's official pages have been updated to include these new factory images and OTA files for specific devices on certain carrier versions.

First, the Pixel 2 on Verizon is getting a bump to build number OPM2.171019.016. Then the Nexus 5X on Telstra and Softbank is getting an update to build OPM5.171019.014. And finally, the Nexus 6P on Softbank only (no Telstra) is getting the same build number as its smaller sibling: OPM5.171019.014.

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Google posts Nexus/Pixel system images and OTA files for January 2018 patches

Google is getting an early start in 2018 by rolling out the monthly patches for Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA files and full system images are available a few days earlier than usual, and devices should begin seeing updates in the not too distant future. It looks like several devices have two different builds available this month, so you'll have to grab the right one if you just can't wait.

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Get the Pixel 2's portrait mode on your first-gen Pixel phones, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X with this mod [APK Download]

Portrait mode became one of the most popular features for cameras in 2017. Apple's iPhone lineup, the Galaxy Note8, the OnePlus 5T, and even the Essential Phone have it in their camera apps. However, owners of older phones were left out of the fun. Luckily, serial Google Camera modder Charles Chow has created a modded Google Camera APK with portrait mode on board for the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL, the Nexus 6P, and the Nexus 5X.

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Contacts sync is breaking on some devices running Android Oreo

One of the most basic and convenient features of life in Google's ecosystem is contacts sync. From email to phone numbers and Google+ profiles, you know that whatever platform you are on, you'll be able to reach out to the people you need to with a minimum of fuss. But for some this essential feature isn't working correctly, and contacts aren't being successfully synced to their Oreo-powered Android devices.

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Google's December 2017 security bulletin is up, system updates go live tomorrow (December 5th)

It's almost time for another round of updates to Google's Android devices. The currently supported Pixels and Nexus phones should begin seeing new builds tomorrow, but Google already has the latest security bulletin up to detail what's fixed in the new version. There don't appear to be any functional updates this month, though.

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[Update: OTAs going out] Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 is now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

Google dropped the first developer preview for Android 8.1 last month, and now it's time for an update. The second dev preview build is now available for download via system images on the developer site. This is your chance to be on the bleeding edge of Android, but as usual, running beta software comes with some risks.

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Google announces Android 8.1 developer preview, final release planned for December

Google launched the new Pixel phones with Android 8.0, which is what last year's Pixel's have been running since the update. A new version of Oreo is on the way, though, and you can try it right now. Google has launched a developer preview for Android 8.1. As usual, it's supported on recent Google devices and can be installed in two ways.

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Google releases Android's October security bulletin, OTAs and factory images available for Nexus/Pixel devices

The month of October has just begun, which means Pumpkin Spice lattes, leaves falling off trees, and marathons of The Nightmare Before Christmas on TV. It also means Google has released another Android security bulletin, just like the company does at the start of every month. As usual, OTA zips and factory images with the fixes are already available for Pixel and Nexus devices.

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Guide: The best phones and tablets for LineageOS

The following post was written by Ryne Hager and Corbin Davenport.

The vast majority of Android device buyers don't know or care what a custom ROM is. And that's completely fine - a phone or tablet's stock ROM will be enough for 99.9% of potential users. But for the 0.1% that like to tinker, the development community surrounding a given device can drastically impact the value. Your purchase can become a much better deal if there is a wealth of custom ROM options available, extending its lifespan for possibly years (and nearly a decade for the HD2).

There are quite a few popular custom ROMs in the wild, but LineageOS is probably one of the best overall.

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