Google’s Android is generally considered as the most widely used mobile operating system in the face of the planet. Part of what makes the platform so popular is its open source nature, which basically means that various phone makers and wireless service providers can do their own tweaks depending on what is best for their devices or networks.
However, the burden of rolling out the latest Android updates often lies on the hands of these mobile manufacturers, and it usually takes some time before the newest Android version can actually land on a specific smartphone or tablet make or model. What is worse is that there are times when potentially important security updates are missed.
Here is some good news for owners of the Essential Phone -- Essential has recently posted a tweet this week saying that Google’s Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system should now be available for installation. It is fair to say that the phablet has had an interesting Android update history -- it was previously on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, but due to some issues related to system stability that were discovered about a couple of months ago, Essential had decided to skip getting the Android 8.0 Oreo altogether.
Earlier this week, Google had revealed that it was starting the roll out of Android 7.1.2, the newest version of Android Nougat, to devices such as the Google Pixel and the Nexus 5X (built by LG) by way of an over the air update. Based on the most recent developer preview, owners of the Nexus 5X will be delighted to know that the device will now receive a new feature that was once only available to the Pixel, but often requested to be included in the Nexus 5X. Specifically, this feature allows users to swipe down on the device’s fingerprint reader to display notification alerts.
Google’s latest flagship devices, the Pixel and the Pixel XL, were released preinstalled with the tech giant’s own Android 7.1 Nougat, a pretty standard update but still one that came with new features. But now, the company has revealed that the latest update, Android 7.1.1, is now being rolled out to other Android powered mobile devices, which means that some of the cool features previously found on Pixel handsets are now made available to other devices as well. Well, which other Android devices exactly?
Users of Android powered mobile devices know exercises of patience all too well, especially when it comes to waiting for the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system to make its way to their smartphones and tablet devices, particularly those not made by Google. Still, some phone makers are quicker than others (like LG), while for the rest, it often takes months.
Here is some good news for owners of Samsung’s current flagship devices -- the South Korean tech giant has just revealed that it is commencing the roll out of Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat to Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge handsets by way of its Galaxy Beta Program. It bears noting though that this deployment is only for Galaxy S7 users based in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom and in Samsung’s native homeland South Korea, for now.
LG’s flagship device, the G5, officially becomes the first mobile device not made by Google to get updated to Android 7.0 Nougat, the newest version of the world’s most widely used mobile operating system. LG is looking to launch a worldwide roll out of its Android Nougat update to G5 units, but almost certainly, G5 owners who are based in South Korea will be the first to receive the software update. As for users living in other major mobile markets, especially the United States and China, they should be able to get the update in the next few weeks.
Right after Google announced its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it was also revealed that Verizon Wireless will be the exclusive wireless carrier in the United States to directly sell the devices. We cleared this up with a previous post, but still, some confusion lingers as to how the exclusivity will impact the roll outs of Android updates.
Android mobile users might be glad to know that the crew behind Google’s mobile security has taken the opportunity to roll out an Android update that should fix a couple of security flaws that could potentially put Android handsets at risk if cybercriminals had taken advantage of them. As told by Google to Ars Technica, the first was only designed for the purpose of doing some research, but would have been harmful if modified, plus it was easy to detect and use for malicious purposes.
Just this week, Google took the opportunity to reveal a new feature on its Android mobile operating system that sends notifications to mobile users of new devices and security related occurrences on their account by way of onscreen alerts. Basically, this is how it all works -- when a new handset is added to the user’s account, native Android alerts, i.e. those that are displayed on the smartphone’s or tablet’s display screen, will notify the user about the newly added handset. The alerts will serve to update users about any new activities related to their account. This new update to Android is made available via both Rapid and Scheduled release channels.
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