Mysterious Android OTA Update Now Hitting Verizon’s Pixel 2

The unannounced and undetailed over-the-air update that started rolling out to select Pixel devices last week is now also being pushed out by Verizon and a number of other wireless carriers in other parts of the world. The new builds of the upgrade have been listed by Google on its Factory Images website, with the same software being uploaded in the sections dedicated to the updates for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The Android 8.1 Oreo-based firmware was also released in the form of OTA images so users interested in downloading it in order to flash it manually can now do so. The only device that’s currently not receiving it and is part of the product lineup that Google is still supporting is the Pixel 2 XL, though it’s currently unclear whether that means it won’t be updated with this particular build or will be the last to receive it.

The previously identified build version OPM2.171019.016 appears to pertain to the Pixel 2 units on Verizon’s network, as revealed by the information provided by Google. The Nexus 6P models bought from Softbank are set to receive the firmware build OPM5.171019.014, with that same software being associated with SoftBank’s Nexus 5X, as well as the units of the handset on Telstra’s network. None of the Australian and Japanese owners of smartphones eligible to receive the update have yet confirmed to have actually seen it hit their devices but the appearance of OTA files and factory images on Google’s official Android software pages is indicative of the launch being imminent. Both builds appear to come packed with the January security patch, the same update that was already distributed to them several weeks back, with the purpose of the software remaining unclear.

The software package itself is just over 41MB in size and comes with a generic changelog that doesn’t specify its contents. Save for major OS upgrades, Pixel and Nexus devices usually receive one OTA file every four weeks meant to raise their Android Security Level by a month. Google’s silence on the matter suggests the update may be intended to fix some critical vulnerability that would endanger a number of users if it was disclosed prematurely.

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