Owners of Samsung’s premium Chromebook Plus who have made the transition to the Canary software channel appear to be getting an update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat on the Android side, according to reports coming in from Reddit. The update comes in the form of a Critical Update package, and does not specify its size. Once the update is done, the Android backend of the device will report Android 7.1.1 in the About Device section, along with the April security patch, and a build number of R60-9490.0.0. For the time being, there seems to be no word on exactly when those not on the Canary channel will be seeing the update, but since the Canary update is rolling out and most users on Reddit don’t seem to be reporting many issues, it could come soon.
For the uninformed, the update to Android 7.1.1 brings mostly under the hood fixes, though some new features, like new emoji and home screen app icon shortcuts, can be found in this update. Obviously, most of those things won’t be affecting a Chromebook getting the update, unless the user decides to put in the work to get full Android up and running using the Android backend, rather than just using it as a compatibility layer for the Play Store. The Samsung Chromebook Plus runs Chrome OS with Android on board to help with compatibility for Android apps, so users likely won’t notice much difference in day to day usage outside of Android apps. In Android, users can expect higher compatibility and faster performance, among other perks.
This update skips Android 7.0 Nougat and brings the Samsung Chromebook Plus straight to an Android version that’s only one small revision behind the latest one. As mentioned above, most of the things that have been improved, such as Doze and Android home screen app functionality, won’t really affect usage on the Samsung Chromebook Plus that much; the most noticeable things are going to be better performance, better app compatibility, and enhanced split screen functionality. Chromebook Pro users were noticeably absent from the Reddit thread, perhaps meaning that the Chromebook Pro’s x86-based Intel processor made it a bit harder for the development team to get a new version of Android up and running than on the ARM-based Chromebook Plus.