The Nexus 6 recently got its helping of Android 7.1.1, an update that is effectively the end of the line for the phone. The problem is the update broke one big bug while claiming to fix some seemingly other small ones: Android Pay bit the dust. Google uploaded a new version of that update to their servers which disabled SafetyNet (which is what was causing the Android Pay issues).
Fast forward to today, and Google has been sending a “fix” to those affected in the form of a new (but really old) update: pure Android 7.0 Nougat. This is the first time we can recall that Google decided to downgrade a device instead of issuing a new update, which is a tell of one of two things:
- The bug is too impactful, so Google doesn’t want folks to go without Android Pay while they await a proper fix.
- Google is simply done updating the Nexus 6 and will leave it on 7.0 Nougat.
While we’re still not totally clear on which direction they’re taking, the company says that you’ll want to accept the downgrade to ensure you get future updates over-the-air, and considering the device was supposed to be forgotten after 7.1.1 (at least as far as major OS upgrades are concerned) we imagine they’re referring to a proper update that may be due in the near future.
But if you don’t care about SafetyNet and the security features it provides, you’re still more than welcome to stay on the updated 7.1.1 build, so long as you manually flash any future updates such as security patches and critical bug fixes. We’ll reach out for further clarification, but for now if you want Android Pay, get back onto Android 7.0 (and do a factory reset if your apps keep crashing as they are bound to do with this unusual process).