Still not convinced version fragmentation is a very real, very serious problem in the open but increasingly convoluted Android ecosystem? Well, things have gotten so bad that the first Nougat “maintenance release”, build number 7.1, is only slated to arrive on select Nexus devices this year as a developer preview, i.e. pre-release beta.

Not to mention Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL phones are getting exclusive features and software goodies, which can be considered a form of fragmentation too. Let’s not forget how 7.0 updates started off on the wrong foot a couple of months back either, with N6P fumbles and big, baffling N6 and N9 LTE delays.

Ultimately, both high-speed 2014-generation Nexus gadgets got their respective 1GB or so UI makeovers this week, as promised last month, ending the torment of Marshmallow-stuck users not enrolled in beta programs at last.

Better late than never is what we always say, though the LTE-enabled HTC Nexus 9’s NRD90R factory and OTA images apparently still lack October security patches. They merely include September’s optimizations, and while we’re not aware of any critical bugs squashed in the meantime, this only goes to show the 8.9-incher isn’t very high on Google’s priority list.

Up next therefore, the 7.1 promotion could take quite some time, with an eventual 8.0 rollout about as likely as a second Nicolas Cage Oscar.

Sources: Google (1), (2)

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