There’s now confirmation that Google will push the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update to Nexus 6 smartphones on December 6, a little more than a week from today. The fact that the “final” beta was released this past week, it’s very likely that the date is accurate. Vodafone Australia has already published details of the update on its website, for its own customers.
Android Headlines, which called the update a rumor, points to the fact that December 6 is a Tuesday, and is “around the time that Google pushes out the monthly security update.” However, that’s not proof in itself. They’re likely referring to Patch Tuesday, which is actually a Microsoft initiative started with Windows 98.
Patch Tuesday was started by Microsoft back in 2003 as a way to reduce the cost of distributing security patches, and the second Tuesday of every month was chosen to dispatch all the security patches over the past month. Though SAP and Adobe have both “adopted” Patch Tuesday for their own updates, Google hasn’t been known to follow that schedule. True, some of their Android security updates did fall on a Tuesday, such as the November 1 patch level announced in the November 2016 bulletin, but it’s not something Google religiously follows.
But Vodafone’s publication shows that the update will coincide with the December security update for Android. Vodafone has only confirmed the update for the Nexus 6P, but the assumption seems to be that Nexus 6, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will get the update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, as well as the Pixel C tablet. The site also shows that the roll-out will happen during a 14-day window. This update is for patch level 5 December 2016.
|Android security patch level:||5 December 2016|
|Kernel version:||3.10.73-g4cd47b6 firstname.lastname@example.org #1 Fri Oct 21 04:38:12 UTC 2016|
A Sigh of Disappointment for Nexus Phone Owners Waiting for Android 7.1.1 Nougat
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Google is reserving the best features of Android 7.1.1 Nougat for its Pixel and Pixel XL, so there are a lot of things we won’t see on the Nexus updates. Possibly the biggest disappointment is the absence of Google Assistant. The Fingerprint Sensor may also not make it to Nexus phones even though developers have managed to get them to work on Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X.
All said, we’ll be quite surprised if the update didn’t come through on the week of December 5. Google seems to have worked out most of the major kinks based on developer feedback on preview versions, so it should be good to go, unless some major vulnerability is discovered prior to the release.
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