Pixel & Nexus April Android 8.1 Update: What to Know

Google recently released its new monthly April Android 8.1 Oreo update for Nexus and Pixel devices. Typically these updates are all about security, but this month Google added a ton of bug fixes for the Pixel and Pixel 2. Meaning you’ll really want this software upgrade. Now that it’s rolling out, here’s everything you need to know and what to expect.

Read: Everything That’s New in Android Oreo

This April Android 8.1 update is available for the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and the Pixel C Tablet. Keep in mind that this is an important update that could affect your device and its performance. Especially if you have a Pixel 2 XL. Updates started on April 3rd, and continue to arrive for users.

For April, we’re seeing new security patches, tons of critical patches, and surprisingly a massive list of function changes. Meaning improvements, patches, or bug fixes to function controls, operations, or features on Pixel and Nexus phones. We’ve never seen so many changes in a monthly security update.

Basically, this update is important for all Nexus and Pixel devices.

Nexus & Pixel April Android Oreo Update Details

Starting Monday, April 2nd Google confirmed the update, but it didn’t start hitting devices until the 3rd and 4th. I didn’t get the update until Friday, April 6th. Go ahead and tap “check for updates” in settings, or wait for the rollout to continue throughout the weekend. Google refreshed the Android security bulletin, as well as the Nexus/Pixel security bulletin. It explains everything in detail, and we’ll talk about the changes more below. You can get factory images and install it manually too if you’d like.

That said, we don’t recommend manually installing the April Android 8.1 update. Instead, just wait for it to roll-out to your device. This is a free and painless software update for all eligible devices and comes right from Google or those with a Pixel on Verizon. It should only take about five minutes to download, install, reboot and finish.

Read: 9 Things to Do Before Installing Android 8.1 Oreo Updates

Typically these updates have between 20-30 changes mostly in the form of security patches, but occasionally other bugs or glitches get fixed. That’s exactly what happened here, and Google added in dozens of changes we never expected to see.

This is an important update that we recommend every Nexus or Pixel owner installs as soon as possible. That said, it’s even more important for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners, as Google fixed a lot of small problems.

April Oreo Update Fixes & Patches

In November, Google issued a slew of fixes for Bluetooth to all of Android. We saw more in February, followed by a few functional changes in March. However, the April update took things to an entirely new level. Again, we’ve never seen Google make this many changes in one month.

If you’ve experienced any problems on your Pixel, Pixel 2, or Pixel 2 XL, here are some of the fixes in the Pixel April Android 8.1 Oreo update.

You can see some changes for video, VoLTe, WiFi, delays in opening specific apps. Improvements to video streams, improved fingerprint latency in some situations, and much more. Further down the list, Google mentions lock screen performance, start times, call forwarding, multi-call performance, overall stability, improved WiFi and more. It’s pretty crazy, really, how much Google improved on this release.

So yes, this is an extremely important update that you should absolutely download as soon as it’s available. You can expect a slew of quality of life changes and improvements to your Nexus or Pixel device.

Additionally, we’re seeing around 8 critical security patches being integrated into Android. Not to mention over 75 “high” severity patches being made by Google. The search giant made a lot of tweaks to keep you and your device safe while improving the overall experience at the same time. Keep in mind that a lot of these improvements are for all of Android, not just Nexus or Pixel users. So whenever devices do see Android 8.1 Oreo, they’ll benefit as well.

When Will It Arrive?

With that many changes, we understand that you want this software right away. We saw some users get the update right on April 2nd, but that wasn’t the case for everyone. My Pixel C received it on April 3rd, while it took until Friday, April 6th for my Pixel 2 to get it. That said, typically these take anywhere from 48-72 hours to hit all phones and tablets. We could see upgrades continue throughout the weekend, and into next week for carrier-branded phones. Just wait for the over-the-air notification to hit your phone.

Read: 15 Common Pixel 2 XL Problems & How to Fix Them

Some users may choose to manually download the files and update to the April Oreo release themselves. However, we recommend waiting for Google’s OTA update notification to hit your device. It’s easier that way. I went to Settings > System > System Update > Check for Updates and got it immediately. This pulls the update from Google’s servers to your phone. The entire process took less than 10 minutes. From downloading to installing and rebooting the phone.

Other Details

In closing, expect an update on your Nexus or Pixel device in the coming days if you didn’t get it already. Google is no longer supporting the Nexus Player, or the Nexus 5. It’s only available for newer devices. Again, this update is only on Nexus and Pixel phones and tablets. Which means those with a Samsung, HTC, Motorola or other devices will have to wait for updates from that specific manufacturer.

So what’s next? Well, that’s Android P, which is available as a very early beta for developers. We’re expecting a stable version of (but still a beta test) of Android P in May, followed by final software later this year. For now, just expect more monthly Oreo updates until Android P arrives.

Those experiencing issues should check out this post for more help. Stay tuned for more details and drop a comment below with any questions or concerns about the April Nexus and Pixel Android Oreo software.

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