Right on time, Google has released the Nexus March Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for multiple devices. At the same time, Verizon is sending a similar update to all Pixel and Pixel XL owners. This is the usual security update and latest patches, and below is what owners need to know and expect.
Last year Google made a big change to Android updates. In addition to developer beta tests for faster updates, was a promise for monthly update cycles. Each month we get the latest software with up-to-date security measures, patches and more. Many manufacturers are doing the same, like Samsung, and today is Google’s March Android 7.1.1 Nougat release.
Read: Android Nougat vs Android 6.0 Walkthrough: What’s New
While we’re waiting for more details on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, that isn’t what users will be getting this week. Instead, those with select Nexus devices or a Pixel phone will get a new version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It usually arrives the first Monday of the month, and is right on time for March. Read on for more details.
Starting Monday March 6th those with multiple different devices should be on the lookout for a software update. Either right from Google, or from Verizon if you have a Pixel or Pixel XL. It should be relatively small, fast, and painless.
From what we’re seeing this will be available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, Nexus 6, and the Nexus 9 tablet. There is no March update for the Nexus player, at least not yet.
Typically these updates have between 15-30 changes mostly in the form of security, but occasionally other bugs or glitches and dealt with as well. We’ve seen new features slip into these, like for the aging Nexus 5. That doesn’t appear to be the case this month though.
March Android 7.1.1 Nougat Update Changes
The update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat in March for all Nexus and Pixel devices is a big one. It’s full of changes from March 1st, and security patches from the 5th. This is a similar approach to previous months, but with more changes that we typically see.
Overall we spotted nearly 60 patches in the March Nougat update. At least according to Google’s security blog. Many of them were critical, 11 actually, and the rest were lower on the urgency scale. Still, it’s good to see Google taking such a quick and responsive approach to security from the top-down.
Again, this is nothing more than a monthly security update with the latest patches and safety protocols. We aren’t seeing any new features, additions, or bug fixes. Android 7.1.2 Nougat is coming soon, and that will have bug fixes like the Bluetooth issues and other things.
Still, anyone with a capable device is recommended to accept and install this latest version of Android.
When Will It Arrive?
Google posted all the details along with the multiple ways for owners to get the latest release. Over the air update notifications should start arriving today, and typically finish with 48 hours for these monthly patches. Owners can also download and flash factory images, or push the OTA update manually with ADB. Here are the March files.
To get started head into Settings > About Phone > and Check for updates manually if you’d like, or just wait for the over the air notification to pop-up. Some can get it to trigger by doing a reboot also.
Most should have the March release by the 9th or 10th. Again, check the list at the top of the page to see if you have a supported device. Verizon is sending it to Pixel and Pixel XL devices. Mine received it this morning. As a reminder, this is still Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
Android 7.1.2 Nougat Update
So what about the next actual big update? It’s still coming and a work in progress. If you’re on the 7.1.2 beta you will not receive the March update, but instead a new 7.1.2 developer preview will hopefully arrive soon.
Here’s how to install Android 7.1.2 Nougat right now. It’s still in beta form, but has additional features and big fixes in addition to the latest security patches, excluding some of these for March. We’re expecting at least one more developer preview before a global release of Android 7.1.2 Nougat for all devices.
For now we just need to wait for Google to continue testing the next big release with the development community. The next best thing is to simply accept the March Android Nougat update on your Nexus or Pixel. That or manually install 7.1.2 with our instructions above.
Either way, whatever version of Android Nougat you are on, if you have problems we have a few tips. Those experiencing issues should check out this post for more help.
In closing, expect an update on your Nexus or Pixel device today or by the end of the week. You won’t notice anything new, but the phone will be more secure and better prepared for the future. Then, in the next month or so 7.1.2 will be released for all. Those with devices from Samsung or others are likely just getting Android 7.0 Nougat, and an update to 7.1.2 will be later this summer.