Pixel & Nexus March Android 8.1 Update: What to Know
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Pixel & Nexus March Android 8.1 Update: What to Know



Google just released a brand new March Android 8.1 Oreo update for Nexus and Pixel devices. And while these monthly updates are usually all about security, this month Google added important bug fixes for the Pixel and Pixel 2. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know and which devices will get it first.

These updates typically arrive at the beginning of each month with the latest security patches directly from Google, and any bug fixes for the latest version of Android. Your smartphone, tablet, or media device will get Android 8.1 Oreo with the March 5th security patch.

Read: Everything That’s New in Android Oreo

This March 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. Like last month, there’s nothing for the Nexus Player. Keep in mind that this is an important update that could affect your device and its performance. Especially if you have a Pixel 2. It’s available starting March 5th, and here’s what to know.

Every month Google updates all of its devices. These updates deliver the latest security patches, bug fixes, and occasionally new features. For March, we’re seeing new security patches, tons of critical patches, and three actual bug fixes for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. As in functional changes, not just patches or improvements.

So while this update is important for all Nexus and Pixel devices, those with a Pixel 2 should pay close attention.

Nexus & Pixel March Android Oreo Update Details

Starting Monday, March 5th, Google started sending out the update, but you probably didn’t get it yet. If not, go ahead and tap the “check for updates” button in settings. This works now and will pull the latest software. Google just updated the Android security bulletin, then released a secondary Pixel security bulletin with more information. You can get factory images and install it manually as well.

We don’t recommend manually installing the March Android 8.1 update. Instead, just wait for it to hit 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.

Typically these updates have between 20-30 changes mostly in the form of security patches, but occasionally other bugs or glitches are also fixed. That’s exactly what happened here, and Google added in three important bug fixes for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

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 if you’re experiencing problems with the Pixel 2 crashing, fingerprint issues, or problems while recording.

March 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. We saw more in February, and now a few in the March Oreo update. However, they only apply to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

However, the important changes come in the form of bug fixes. If you’ve experienced any issues with your Pixel 2 after the Android 8.1 update in December, here’s what the company fixed.

As you can see, the Pixel Android 8.1 Oreo update in March is worth downloading. The company improved screen wake and fingerprint performance, audio performance while recording video, and the crash and reboot problems we keep hearing about.

Additionally, Google’s March Android Oreo update delivers key security patches throughout. As usual, we’re seeing roughly 37 “Critical or High Severity” privacy patches with this release, and a few minor changes sprinkled in too.

Furthermore, Google’s other bulletin states there’s a fix for reboots and freezes for the original Pixel and Pixel XL, which we’re happens often. In closing, don’t wait, get this update right away.

When Will It Arrive?

For most users, this is an important update you’ll want to accept as soon as it arrives. And while yes, the latest security is a big deal, you’ll want the bug fixes too. We saw some updates hit devices on March 5th, the day Google made the announcement. That said, typically these take anywhere from 24-72 hours to hit all phones and tablets. 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 March Oreo release themselves. However, we recommend just waiting for Google’s over the air update notification to hit your device. I went to Settings > System > System Update > Check for Updates and got it right away, and you can too.

Keep in mind that if you have a Pixel or Pixel 2 on Verizon, it might take an additional day or two. Either way, expect its arrival before the end of the week.

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. Google’s sending Android 8.1 out again, while most other phones don’t even have the original Android 8.0 Oreo update.

So what’s next? Well, after this March Android Oreo update, we’re expecting the first public release and beta for Android P before the end of the month. Here’s what we know about Android P so far.

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 March Nexus and Pixel Android Oreo software.

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