Android 7.1 set for December release

When Google showed off Android 7.1 Nougat and the new Pixel phones at the company's hardware event last week, the search giant said that Nexus devices would receive an update to 7.1 sometime later in 2016. Dave Burke, the VP of Engineering for Android, announced today via blog post that a preview version of the point release will be released for the Nexus 5X, 6P and Pixel C later in October. The final version of 7.1 will be released in December. Owners of Nexus phones older than the Nexus 6 should not plan on receiving any officially-sanctioned update to Android 7.1.

The Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, 9, Nexus Player, the Pixel C, "and supported Android One devices" are on the list to receive the final release of Android 7.1 in December. The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 are actually past their support window according to Google's support list, but those devices will be updated to 7.1 anyway. Google's two-year support window pales in comparison to Apple's current software support for devices going as far back as the 2012-vintage iPhone 5.

When Google fully rolls out Android 7.1, the non-Pixel machines will still lack some of the features found in the new Pixel phones. The Pixel launcher, Google Assistant, and some cosmetic tweaks will continue to differentiate Pixel devices from the rest of the Android landscape. All devices with Android 7.1 will be able to take advantage of new SDKs and other developer features, though.

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