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Google releases May 2018 OTA and system image files, publishes security bulletin

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. 

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Android Auto Wireless is now enabled for Nexus and Pixel devices

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.

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ARCore v1.1 suggests upcoming support for Galaxy S9 / S9+, Huawei P20 / P20 Pro, Nexus 6P, and several more [APK Teardown]

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.

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[Update: Nexus Player confirmed] Android P drops support for Nexus 5X/6P, Pixel C, and possibly Nexus Player

The Nexus 5X and 6P were released in October 2015, and ended up being the last devices under the Nexus brand. The following year, Google released the original Pixel, marking an end to the company's lineup of affordable devices. Google has now confirmed to Ars Technica that Android P will drop support for the 5X and 6P, along with the infamous Pixel C tablet.

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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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