Rumor: Pixel Phones To Launch With Android 7.1 Nougat

Android 7.0 Nougat is fresh off the presses, having only released back on August 22. The new software is so fresh, in fact, that factory images have yet to hit some promised devices, such as Motorola's Nexus 6. Even the famously quick CyanogenMod community is still working on cranking out the updates, with a good number of supported devices still having not received CyanogenMod 14 yet. While the newest major Android update each year normally hits alongside its corresponding reference devices in the Nexus lineup in October, this year seems to be a year of firsts. The update came out ahead of the phones, and the phones won't be called Nexus phones. Things are still up in the air in regards to the name for a rumored Nexus 7 successor. According to a Tweet from LlabTooFeR, the main developer of the MaximusHD custom ROM, however, another first is in store; the release of the Pixel phones will coincide with the release of Nougat's incremental update, and the phones will ship with Android 7.1. 

A post from Androguider a while back, powered by information from an alleged Google insider, made statements in line with LlabTooFeR's Tweet. The post said that the LG V20 would be the first widely available device to ship with Nougat, making this the first year that a manufacturer device beat a Nexus out the door with a new major update. This was corroborated in a way by a developer for the official Reddit app, whose app analytics pointed to a number of users on Android 7.1 Nougat, and 4 users on a mysterious "Android O", which could be a build.prop file mockup by users or an innocent prank by a few Googlers.

This would all make perfect sense, in light of the rollout for Nougat thus far. As the developer previews rolled on, Google collected more and more information on how their new OS was doing and what users wanted to see changed or fixed. Theoretically, the rollout could play out in much the same manner from the official release. Android 7.0 Nougat would eventually roll out to all current commercially viable devices, and the feedback from that would power development of an update that would mainly consist of bugfixes and small under-the-hood tweaks. This would be Android 7.1 Nougat, which could be thought of as the true first version of Nougat, much like Android 6.0.1 was the true first version of Marshmallow, though further incremental updates, like what was seen with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and its eventual push to Android 4.0.4, are definitely possible. According to LlabTooFeR, the current build number for Android 7.1 is NDE63B.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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