Vodafone Australia lets slip the launch date for the next version of Android.
Google has already stated on a few occasions that the final release of Android 7.1.1 Nougat will take place in early December, but now we have a tentative date to work with. Vodafone Australia has published an update advisory for the Nexus 6P, saying the OTA to Android 7.1.1, build NMF26F, will start to hit the Huawei-made phone from December 6 local time. It's worth remembering that Australia is 13 to 18 hours ahead of the United States, so in the U.S. the update would likely hit sometime on the previous day, Monday December 5. (Google usually starts serving up system images around noon PST when a new Android version lands.)
New features to the 6P, and the first numbered update for the Pixels.
The new update will bring with it the December 5, 2016 Android security patch, Vodafone says.
Carriers get new updates head of time for testing, and in the past, update advisories like this from the likes of Verizon and Sprint have turned out to be accurate. December 5-6 is also well within the timeframe that we'd expect a new monthly security patch. Google has previously said that Nexus and Pixel phones will receive 7.1.1 within the same timeframe, so expect OTAs (and system images) to be available around that same time.
A stable release for Android 7.1.1 is also the starting point for other manufacturers wanting to update existing phones to this new version of Android, whereas previously 7.1 had been exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL.
The update will bring new features like app shortcut menus to the Nexus 6P, while giving the Pixel phones (which shipped on 7.1) their first Android version bump. The update for the Pixels should also include the new raise-to-wake and tap-to-wake features included in a mid-month update for Canadian units.