Arguably, one of the many reasons why consumers may have wanted to choose a Pixel or Pixel XL over other flagship smartphones was the inclusion of specific features that Google was making exclusive to the Pixel lineup, one of those being the completely unlimited storage of photos and videos at full resolution. Now with Android 7.1.1, Google is planning on bringing at least some of the Pixel-exclusive features over to their currently supported Nexus devices. This means that those who are on last year's Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are going to be getting some neat little treats this holiday season.
The timing of this news really couldn't be more perfect now that Google just posted the factory images and OTA images for Android 7.1.1 Nougat earlier this morning, which means that in the very near future any supported Nexus devices which are scheduled to get the update to Android 7.1.1 will be getting the bump up. That said, it is worth noting that Google highlights "many of the cool features of Pixel" will be making their way over to everyone else, so not all the Pixel features will be transplanted. Google states that the Android 7.1.1 update introduces new ways for people to express themselves, and in regards to that, one of the features that will be available on Nexus devices getting the update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat are the new set of emoji which promote gender equality.
Emoji can be great, but not everyone likes to use emoji, some users prefer to be expressive with the inclusion of GIF images in their messages instead, and Android 7.1.1 is making this easier to do with direct access to sharing GIF images from the keyboard. That said, this is only for the applications which support it like Allo and Messenger for just a couple of examples. Nevertheless, it makes sharing a GIF a lot easier. The last feature that's part of this update is the app shortcuts. While this has been available on the Pixel devices since launch, supported Nexus devices getting Android 7.1.1 will be able to use the app shorts from the home screen for supported apps, many of which already have them implemented, making for quick and direct access to specific actions inside of those apps instead of having to open the app first then navigate to those functions. While the update is starting today, the entire process of updating everyone will happen through this week and over the next several weeks according to Google, so not everyone will see the update immediately. Devices that can expect this update are of course the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9 tablet, the Nexus Player, the Pixel C tablet, the General Mobile 4G, and last but certainly not least, both the Pixel and the Pixel XL will get this update as well.