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Pixel & Nexus February Android 8.1 Update: What to Know



Google recently released a brand new February Android 8.0 and 8.1 Oreo update for Nexus and Pixel devices. And while these monthly security updates typically offer a few patches, this month Google added several key bug fixes for the Pixel 2. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know and which devices will get it first.

These updates arrive at the beginning of each month with the goal of patching any vulnerabilities to Android smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

Read: Everything That’s New in Android Oreo

This February 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. We’re not seeing anything for the Nexus Player. This is an important update that could affect your device and its performance. It’s available starting February 5th, and here’s everything you need to know.

Every month Google updates all of its devices. These updates deliver the latest security patches, bug fixes, and occasionally new features. February’s release adds key security patches, fixes drivers for Bluetooth, WiFi, touchscreen responsiveness and a few other things.

However, Google made several extremely important changes to Android 8.1 Oreo for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. More than we’ve seen in any monthly software update. Everything from Bluetooth, WiFi, camera improvements, Android auto, battery life, overall stability and more. So while this update is important for all Nexus and Pixel devices, those with a Pixel 2 should pay close attention.

Nexus & Pixel February Android Oreo Update Details

Starting Monday, February 5th, multiple devices will start receiving this software update. Google already updated the Android security bulletin, and factory images are available as well. This is a free software update for all eligible devices and comes right from Google or those with a Pixel on Verizon. This is a small, fast and painless update that should only take a few minutes to complete.

Typically these updates have between 20-30 changes mostly in the form of security patches, but occasionally other bugs or glitches are also fixed. Which is exactly what we’re seeing with the February Oreo update. Sometimes, Google even slips in new features for the aging Nexus 5.

This means you shouldn’t expect any major changes, at least visually, but it’s still an important update we recommend everyone download and install. Especially because this is only the second security patch after Google’s big December Android 8.1 Oreo update.

February Oreo Update Fixes & Patches

In November, Google issued a slew of fixes for Bluetooth to all of Android. Meaning the update wasn’t just for Nexus and Pixel users. And now, we’re seeing similar massive changes in the February update. However, they only apply to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Everything else about this release is pretty standard, and what we expect to see each month.

Here’s a quick list of some changes specifically for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These are important fixes that should improve your device performance and experience. Two key upgrades are here for the camera and for Bluetooth.

Additionally, Google’s February Android Oreo update delivers key security patches throughout. As usual, we’re seeing roughly 25 “Critical or High Severity” privacy patches with this update. Meaning Google’s making some small but important changes.

If you’re experiencing any problems with the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, give the February update a try. That said, this is a relatively small and painless update everyone else.

When Will It Arrive?

For most users, this is still an important update. Not only because it patches important security holes, but for the bug fixes. Expect it to start arriving on devices from February 5th, and continue throughout the rest of the week. Some with carrier-branded phones may have to wait a few extra days. Remember, this is via an over the air software update, or manual installation using the factory images.

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

Some users may choose to manually download the files and update to the February Oreo release themselves. However, we recommend just waiting for Google’s over the air update notification to hit your device.

These updates typically arrive within 24-48 hours. Meaning expect it sooner rather than later. If it doesn’t arrive right away, try checking for updates yourself.

Those with a Verizon Pixel or Pixel 2 should see the update this week also. To get started head to Settings > About Phone > and check for updates.

Other Details

In closing, expect an update on your Nexus or Pixel device in the coming days. You won’t notice anything new, but the phone will be more secure and better prepared for the future. 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. Yes, Google’s devices are getting Android 8.1 Oreo while most Samsung devices don’t even have the first Android 8.0 release.

Get the February Android 8.1 Oreo update and enjoy everything it has to offer. 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 February Nexus and Pixel Android Oreo release.

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