The Google Nexus 6 was first released in 2014. By the time this year comes to an end, it will be three years old.
According to Google’s software update policy, the Nexus 6 will no longer be eligible for any software update and any form of customer support from the company as from October this year. The tech giant is careful in its wording, saying that the Motorola-made phablet won’t be “guaranteed security updates and telephone or online support”, something that may leave some hoping that the phone may actually receive a few updates of its own (wishful thinking).
The fact that the Google Nexus 6 was not supposed to receive any major Android update after October 2016, yet it did receive the update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat this year is one point that argues in favor of those with the said wishful thoughts. But at some point earlier this year, in March, the search engine giant started rolling out an OTA update to this same phone.
Some thought that this update was going to push them to the newer Android 7.1.2 Nougat, which is currently available for only four of Google’s phones – the 2015 Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X as well as last year’s Pixel pair. But interestingly, this update was, in fact, taking them back to the original Android 7.0 Nougat. This obviously left users of the Nexus 6 frustrated and confused at what Google was doing.
At the time, a Google Nexus community manager came in with an even more confusing statement. According to the CM, those who were using the newer Android 7.1.1 Nougat will not be guaranteed future OTA updates. In order to get OTA updates, which will only be guaranteed until October this year, the CM said that downgrading to the old Android 7.0 Nougat was necessary.
Of course, this left many Google Nexus 6 users even more confused. But according to a recent comment on the same Reddit thread that started all this fuss, a Google support team has a different version of the same story. The Redditor, who goes by the name Bkaczmarek, says that they contacted Google support about this issue and from the email that came back in response to the query; it appears to contradict the previous statement.
Apparently, ignoring the OTA update that downgrades the Google Nexus 6 from Android 7.1.1 Nougat to v7.0 won’t prevent future security OTA updates from coming your way as feared earlier. This doesn’t matter whether your Nougat 7.1.1 was manually installed on the Nexus 6 or not.
It’s not the first time, however, that we’ve seen Google employees give out contradicting statements regarding the same issue, but hopefully the latest is true. Otherwise, it could mean many Nexus 6 users will be walking targets for malicious attackers even before the preset October 2017 date that updates will no longer be supported on this device.