All of those Pixel-exclusive announcements during Tuesday’s Made by Google event probably gave you a good sense of feature envy for your current Nexus phone.
We have some good news for you, however tepid it may be. Android Police says it has confirmation that Android 7.1 is coming to Nexus phones and the Pixel C before the end of the year as a dev preview.
The report is bullish that the 6P and 5X will get the update, but it’s a little more iffy for those with a Nexus 6 or 9.
On the feature front, the Pixel launcher, rapid-fire access to the Google Assistant, and the 24/7 screen sharing and support services will surely remain Pixel exclusive. Google wants tight control over these features to optimize the experience and as an incentive for you to part with cash for one of Google’s newest phones.
We’ll let you know more if we get more details from Google about what the exact plans are for features that will and won’t make it to current nexus hardware.
The impact on you: Online forums like the Android Reddit page have been filled with anxiety over the state of everyone’s current Nexus phones and tablets. Many see Google cutting loose too quickly with relatively recent hardware given that the Pixel will have so many exclusives. However, Google has also decided to ramp up the innovation with tight software/hardware integration, something that wasn’t even fully realized with the Nexus line..