As Google prepares to bring out Android 8.1 Oreo to its Pixel and Nexus devices, the December security update is on its way too. Here’s everything you need to know about the mobile scene with the weekly edition of Updato Android software update roundup.
Another week has gone by, and the world of Android is once again shaking with Google making some big changes. After releasing the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to contend as the 2017 official Android flagship, the Mountain View company had quite a lot to fix with the software (and even hardware) in mind.
After the screen burn-in issue of the Pixel 2 XL went viral and Google went out its way to give customers the assurance of a 2-year device warranty, there’s more coming. In the meantime, the Android OEMs are still playing catch-up with the Android Oreo update, as Samsung works on bringing its public release of the latest Android version to its flagship devices. In the meantime, the Android 7.0 Nougat market share increases as Android OEMs bring their older smartphones up to speed.
On top of all this, we’re just a month away from New Year, which means you can expect a bunch of software update being pushed out by manufacturers across the spectrum. One significant update comes from Google in the form of the December security update. Breaking things down for Android devices brand-by-brand, here’s the weekly Android software update roundup.
Google software update news
A lot was resting on Google’s ability to come back into the game after taking a severe blow on the hardware front, the company is coming back with some smart software fixes. Android 8.1 Oreo was already being expected with two developer preview versions, and now the public release is rolling out for a bunch of Google Pixel and older Nexus devices.
While it may just be a follow-up to the major Android version update, but it does bring its very own set of visual and performance features. To highlight just a few changes that you can expect, here’s what’s new with the Android 8.1 update:
- The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL get a refreshed interface design with the new bottom search bar and the At a glance Issues regarding the audio recording and touch responsiveness bugs have been patched, along with a brand new Oreo Easter Egg.
- Android 8.1 and API 27 update for developers brings enhancements to the Visual Core, along with the allowance for hardware acceleration with Neural networks API for machine learning.
- As a special enhancement for low-end devices under the Android Oreo Go edition, hardware-feature constraints will enable developers to build better apps.
- Resolving 19 security issues with the December security update, the official security bulletin also enlists 48 additional fixes for Google Pixel and Nexus devices.
- We’re happy to report that the cheeseburger emoji of the Android 8.0 update that became a global sensation for being compiled in the wrong order has been fixed as well.
The Android 8.1 update is officially rolling out to the following devices:
- Pixel 2 XL: Android 8.1 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel 2: Android 8.1— Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel XL: Android 8.1 — Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel: Android 8.1— Factory Image — OTA
- Pixel C: Android 8.1— Factory Image — OTA
- Nexus 6P: Android 8.1— Factory Image — OTA
- Nexus 5X: Android 8.1— Factory Image — OTA
Samsung software update news
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, which is why Samsung is always getting slack despite being the largest Android OEM in the market. You can’t blame the users since despite the Android 8.0 update being months old now, there’s not a single Galaxy device running the Oreo update yet.
However, the sheer number of devices that Samsung has in its inventory leads to a bunch of software updates each week. From catching up with the flagship devices on the security patch to rolling out the December security update, there’s a lot the South-Korean tech company is rolling out.
Android 8.0 for Galaxy Note 8 leaked
Now that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ Oreo beta update is in its third phase and breaking more than its fixing, the latest Android version is in the works for other devices too. An exciting news for Galaxy Note 8 unlocked devices in the United States is that the test build for Android Oreo is out in public, but not officially.
An independent user apparently got their hands on the original Android 8.0 Oreo OTA for the Galaxy Note 8 and posted the links on Reddit for other users to try out. Running with the build can only be installed on Galaxy Note 8 devices on build number N950USQS2BQK2 running the Snapdragon-powered version of the smartphone.
If you do plan to go ahead and try out the Android Oreo beta build on your Galaxy Note 8, here’s the link you can use. However, we’d suggest you probably wait for the official beta update to roll out since the update could break more things than it might fix or enhance on your premium phablet.
December security update news
Now that Google has rolled out the December security patch for its devices, Android OEMs are catching up as well. Samsung has also enlisted the complete details on the official blog on what the security patch from Google fixes and Samsung’s very own set of fixes rolled out for the vulnerabilities.
The December security patch comes with a fix for 11 critical exploits found in Android devices, and 10 other vulnerabilities that exclusively affect Samsung Galaxy devices. Surprisingly enough, the Galaxy A5 2016 is the first Samsung device to get the December security update with build number A510FXXU4CQL1.
The OTA update sized at 200MB comes with not just a security bump, but also bringing charging stability and improves the overall performance of the device. In the meantime, Galaxy Note 5 is playing catch-up with the November security update with build number N920GDDS3CQK1 and just a 20MB OTA that is currently rolling out in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Similarly, the flagship devices Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are finally getting the November security update in Canada. Packing a whopping 61 Android exploits and 6 Samsung-specific fixes, Canadian users can finally rest assured that their devices are free of the KRACK Wi-Fi exploit. If you own any of the Galaxy devices eligible for the software update, you can look for the update manually by heading over to Settings – Software update – Download updates manually.
Android Wear update news
The very thought of being able to enjoy the next-generation communication right from your wrist was going to be a banger. However, when Android put its money behind Android Wear OS and Apple got into the race with the Apple Watch in 2015, the world of smart wearable technology became very real.
While Android Wear has not lived up to the standard it was expected to, the fact that multiple big names in the tech world and the fashion industry are backing it speaks volumes. Google is taking it one step further by bringing Android 8.0 Oreo to Android Wear devices, but the support extends to only a revered few.
Google hasn’t been upfront about the devices that will be receiving the Android Oreo update for Android Wear OS until finally enlisting them on the official website. Despite being fairly short, here’s are the Android Wear smartwatches receiving the Android Oreo update right now:
- Fossil Q Venture
- LG Watch Sport
- Louis Vuitton Tambour
- Michael Kors Sofie
- Montblanc Summit
Apart from these smartwatches, the bulletin has also specified more than a dozen other Android Wear devices that will be receiving the Oreo update in the near future.
Don’t get too excited about the update since despite being a major version update, Oreo for Android Wear is minor compared to its mobile counterpart. Some of the improvements expected with the Android Wear update include:
- Notification vibration strength setting to customize the pattern of vibration.
- Touch lock option for wet conditions for outdoor use.
- Extended support for Android Wear across 7 new countries and languages.
- UI improvements alongside new notification channels for productivity.
- Battery saving background limits borrowed from the mobile version of the update.
Apart from the smartwatches that are receiving the update already, even the eligible Android Wear devices can expect certain wait-time before the OTA rolls out. While the rage of wearables might have moved on to being more focused on fitness tracking, Google is not losing its confidence in the Android Wear platform.
OnePlus software update news
The Chinese tech company sent out somewhat of a shocker by updating the OnePlus 3 and 3T from last year to Android 8.0 Oreo last week. While the OnePlus 5 and 5T from this year are already receiving the beta version of the latest Android version, the public release is also expected as December closes in.
The big announcement from OnePlus was the decision to not become a part of Google’s ambitious Project Treble while assuring that the OnePlus 3 and 3T will receive Android 8.1 going ahead. Citing issues with hardware partitioning that is necessary to be a part of Project Treble, OnePlus is focusing more on making its devices perform better on a software level.
On that subject, OnePlus 5T is receiving its second OTA update in the form of OxygenOS 4.7.4, and it isn’t Oreo just yet. After improving the already lightning fast fingerprint scanner and face unlock feature with an update last week, the OnePlus 5T update is sized at 285MB and brings along a bunch of improvements to the camera specifically.
Motorola software update news
Despite not being the quickest Android OEM this time around to bring out the latest Android version to its devices, Motorola in speeding things up. We’ve already updated you on the fact that the Lenovo-owned mobile brand is soak-testing Android 8.0 Oreo for its flagship devices, and the Moto Z Play seems to have joined the ranks.
Reports of the Moto Z Play running Android 8.0 spotted on the Geekbench listing just a few weeks after the Moto Z2 Force has been spotted shows a clear trail. To keep the users on the edge of their seats, Motorola has also sent out a teaser to some Moto Z2 devices, highlighting that they are “planning an Android 8.0 Oreo update” in a few weeks.
On the software update front, the latest mid-range Motorola Moto X4 is currently receiving it’s very first software update since release. Packed with build version NPW26.7, the latest software update brings the security version up to November, with some bug fixes and stability improvements focused on making the camera software better.
Moto X Pure Edition users can also breathe a sigh of relief as the brand is finally rolling out the highly anticipated Android 7.0 Nougat update. The latest software update for users in the United States coming with firmware version 25.11.23.en.US may not be as exciting as Android 8.0 Oreo, but will surely excite those who dreaded being stuck on a two-year-old Android version.
That’s all we’ve got for this week’s edition of the Updato Android software roundup, so be sure to bump up your eligible devices to the latest version. If you own an Android device that recently got updated and you’d like other users to know as well, be sure to mention it in the comments section down below.
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