After Stagefright upended the Android security situation, Google pledged to update its Nexus devices monthly. The first patches are here to keep your Nexus phone or tablet running smoothly, without any nasty malware.
The Shield Tablet is also getting some attention, with its own Stagefright patch and other helpful tweaks that may ramp up the gaming experience. And a lot of Samsung devices got some attention from T-Mobile.
Each week, we compile all the major software updates to hit the ecosystem, including phones and tablets on U.S. carriers, unlocked phones, Android Wear smartwatches, and Android TV devices. Making sure your device is running the latest available software is a good housekeeping practice, ensuring you have the latest features with fewer bugs and gaping security holes.
Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, Player: Google is out with its first batch of the promised monthly security updates for Nexus devices. The factory images are available for download if you don’t want to wait for the update to hit your device. T-Mobile announced they’re coming over the air, and you should also see it hit your Nexus 6 automatically if you’re on Project Fi.
Google Play Edition
Galaxy S4: Hey, remember Google Play Edition phones? Google sold a stock edition of the GS4 and HTC One M7 that were free of carrier bloatware and ran stock Android (just like Nexus devices). Well it’s good to see that they’re not forgotten, as the Galaxy S4 is getting the bump up to Android 5.1. You can wait for an over-the-air update, or get the ZIP file here.
Shield Tablet: The marquee feature to the 3.1.1 update is a patch for Stagefright, though it’s doubtful you were in that much danger of getting a virus-filled MMS on your gaming tablet. But along with that comes “systemwide” optimizations that fix battery performance and Netflix playback. Nvidia also says you’re getting a firmware update for the wireless controller and various stability and performance improvements.
Galaxy S6, S6 Edge: T-Mobile’s new Advanced Messaging feature is coming to two of Samsung’s flagships. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge get the iMessage-style conversations, like seeing a notification the other person is typing. T-Mobile has promised to expand the program, so we’ll see what other devices eventually get this.
Galaxy S6 Edge+: Samsung’s curvy phone is getting a tweak to the new video calling feature that updates the interface.