After a Google engineer announced in September that the ‘Check for Update’ button would actually start pulling down updates for Pixel and Nexus devices as soon as they were announced there was much rejoicing. Unfortunately that hasn’t worked as seen by Pixel/Nexus owners after this latest Android update, now that same engineer has updated to say it was working, but has broken and will be fixed.

Having the latest update isn’t always beneficial, it’s why companies and carriers conduct staged rollouts – i.e 1% on day one, 5% on day two etc. – when rolled out in this manner, it’s easier to note and resolve issues before the wider audience receives the update. But, the majority of Nexus and Pixel owners basically just want the update, so Google was going to let us have the update – until something got broken.

The explanation is basically that a Google Play Services update broke the functionality, and while it’s been fixed on Google’s end, the fix won’t be rolled out to users until next year. Elliot Hughes, the Googler behind the original G+ post, updated his post to say :

[UPDATE: a Google Play Services update after I posted this broke the feature again. (An API incompatibility between the System Update code and the Checkin code, if you’re interested in the details: bugs involving two separate moving parts are often the sneakiest.) This was fixed again internally, but late enough that it will be next year before this works again for non-Googlers. Sorry about that. We will also be improving the testing process that allowed this incompatibility to slip through.]

If it were just an issue with Play Services it would be easy to just update that app, which sits in Google Play, but as it isn’t coming till next year it seems it isn’t just that. Google began rolling out many fixes for supported Pixel and Nexus devices in their monthly security updates last month, so it’s likely that it’s going to be included in the January update.

So, while you may have to wait a while to get your Over The Air (OTA) update to Android 8.1, it will come when Google is ready, you just have to wait a little longer for it. You can of course sideload it using the OTA files that Google has made available, or perform a full flash of the full 8.1 image to your supported Nexus or Pixel device, again using the files Google provided – either way, the world will go on on Android 8.0. Still, it’d be nice to get that fix for the Pixel 2 that reboots it when the Kernel panics.

Source: +Elliot Hughes.
Via: Android Police.
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    Dennis Bareis

    Google should just let you nominate at which stage of the rollout you are willing to take the update, that is how much tsk you are willing to take. You should also be able to see show me x days after its available (for the low risk takers). Google (software) can then choose amongst each level of risk randomly until that stage is complete. Simple, stress free and quick.

    Geoff Fieldew

    I know Google don’t recommend it but I tried the ole ‘clear the services framework trick’ and it worked.

    Geoff Fieldew

    Well, if I get no more reboots I’m a happy camper.

    Dennis Bareis

    The trouble is so does standing on your head for the same amount of time.

    Dean Rosolen

    Was wondering why I wasn’t getting 8.1 on my Nexus 5X when I checked for updates. Thought it was Telstra being dicks again but it’s Google’s fault instead.


    It is just me, or is google making more and more of a hash of things – getting worse rather than better? I mean, it’s not as if it’s a bug in some weird chinese phone, they only have a very few pixel/nexus phones they bother to update, and testing functionality against these should be a matter of course.

    Maybe there should rather be a button saying “don’t update me till 2 weeks after everyone else, and only if it hasn’t gone tit’s up in the meantime”.