A new Nexus 6P Android 8.1 Oreo update is available and Google’s May build comes with important security patches for your phone.
The Nexus 6P won’t get upgraded to the company’s new Android P update, but it will continue to get Android Oreo updates throughout the year.
Google’s latest update is its May Android 8.1 build, the fifth security release since the release of Android 8.1 Oreo back in December.
The May Android 8.1 update is a small update, just a few megabytes, but it could have a major impact on your device. Most of you won’t see much of a change from the previous Android 8.1 builds, but some of you will.
The Nexus 6P’s new Android 8.1 update doesn’t come with a long list bug fixes for the aging former flagship, but there’s always a chance the new build irons out random bugs or performance issues. There’s also a chance it hurts your device’s performance.
The latest version of Android 8.1 is causing problems for some Nexus 6P users and we expect complaints to pickup as the roll out picks up speed and more people download the software to their phone.
Our guide to the May Nexus 6P Android 8.1 update takes a look at these problems. It also shows you how to download the new Android 8.1 build right now, some things you should do before you install the latest version of Android 8.1, and some other details you should know before, and after, you install the latest Android 8.1 build on your phone.
We’ll continue to update this roundup with new information as we push away from the release date.
How to Get the May Android 8.1 Update Right Now
The Nexus 6’s May Android 8.1 Oreo build is known as OPM2.171019.029.A1.
The update is slowly rolling out to the Nexus 6P and it could be a few days before it lands for every Nexus 6P model in the United States and other countries where the Nexus 6P is found.
If you want to skip the OTA you can download the May Android 8.1 build right now by sideloading the correct image onto your device.
If you don’t want to manually install the software right now, head into your device’s settings a few times a day to check for the May build.
It typically takes a couple of weeks for the roll out to finish up so don’t be surprised if you don’t see the update popup today.
How to Prepare for Your Android 8.1 Update
If you decide to download the latest Android 8.1 build on your Nexus 6P, make sure you do some prep work ahead of the download.
The latest Android 8.1 update is a small security release, but problems have slipped through the cracks. There’s no guarantee you’ll run into issues with the new build, but there’s always a chance something pops up on your Nexus 6P.
We always recommend doing some pre-installation work before installing new Android software and you’ll want to be careful with this patch. Again, it has the potential to help, or hurt, your device’s performance.
To assist you, we’ve put together a pre-installation guide that outlines the steps we take before we install Android software on our devices.
Some of these steps will take you a few minutes to complete, others could take longer depending on your skill level.
Take your time with this Android 8.1 Oreo build and make sure everything is good to go before installing it on your phone.
Nexus 6P Android 8.1 Problems & Fixes
Google’s latest Nexus 6P Android 8.1 build is causing problems for some users.
We’re seeing complaints about installation problems, severe battery drain, Bluetooth issues, lag and freezes, and some problems with some first and third-party applications. The list is short, but we expect it to grow as more Nexus 6P users install the firmware.
If you run into trouble you can’t rely on Google to fix your problems. The company hasn’t confirmed Android 8.1.1 or Android 8.2 and those releases could be weeks out, if they even come at all.
Our list of fixes for the most common Nexus Android Oreo issues is a great place if you start noticing bad battery life, issues with Wi-Fi, problems with Bluetooth, or random reboots.
If you run into issues with your Nexus 6P’s apps, try updating them to the latest versions available from Play Store.
How to Downgrade Your Nexus 6P
If you can’t stand the Android 8.1 update’s performance on your Nexus 6P you can try dropping down to an older version of Android Oreo (or Android Nougat if you really can’t stand Oreo) to see if that improves things.
If you’re unfamiliar with how the Android downgrade process for Nexus devices works, take a look at this guide courtesy of the Nexus Help Forums.
The walkthrough will take you through the steps you need to take in order to move off the current version of Android you’re currently running.
There’s no guarantee downgrading to Android 8.0 or Nougat will help, but it’s worth a shot if Android 8.1 is wrecking havoc on your performance.
Nexus 6P Android 8.1 Update: What’s New
The May Android 8.1 update comes with a solid list of security enhancements that’ll help protect your phone. If you’re interested in the specific vulnerabilities, you should check out Google’s Android Security Bulletin right here.
If you missed any of Google’s older security patches you’ll likely be forced to download those before you can get the May update on board.
You can take a look at the changes from the updates you missed on Google’s security bulletin.
If you’re just now getting around to installing Android 8.1, the Nexus 6P Android 8.1 update comes with a bunch of changes for Nexus 6P users.
These changes include a colored nav bar in Settings that dims, a new power menu design, a new Android Oreo icon in System Notifications, and automatic dark and light themes. Some of these features come from the Pixel 2’s software.
Google’s also added Neural Networks API, improved targeting for low-RAM devices, an Autofill framework update, programmatic Safe Browsing actions, and fingerprint updates.
It also delivers a new hamburger emoji that puts the piece of cheese on top of the patty rather than below it. A welcomed change.
Now that Android 8.1 Oreo’s out, we don’t know what’s next for Nexus 6P users outside of monthly security updates.
The company hasn’t confirmed Android 8.1.1 or Android 8.2 so there’s no guarantee those updates arrive in 2018 ahead of Android P.
At this point, we’d expect the next release to be the June security update. Google’s security updates typically land on the first Monday of the month so keep an eye on carrier Android update schedules for specifics in the weeks ahead.
As for Android 9.0 P, it’s set to arrive in Q3 after a stint in beta for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL users.
We expect developers to release Android P for the Nexus 6P (in ROM form) so keep your eyes peeled for a stable release.
Nexus 6P Software Support Extended
The Nexus 6P is getting older, but the device will receive new Android builds through most of 2018.
Google initially said it planned to stop security updates for the Nexus 6P in September, 2018. Fortunately, those plans changed.
The company now says it plans to roll out security patches to the Nexus 6P through November 2018. After that, support will stop and Nexus 6P users will be on their own.
At this point, with software updates coming to an end in 2018, it might be time to start looking at an upgrade for your Nexus 6P.
Google’s Pixel/Pixel XL and Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL are worth a look.