Google released Android 8.1 Oreo update for Pixel and Nexus devices last month and added January security patch early this month. While the update was released as an OTA update for compatible devices, the company has now also released factory images for select devices.
Factory images are extremely handy whenever a user plans to do a clean install of the operating system on their device. It is also one of the easiest ways to get the latest version before its released in a phased manner to all active devices. However, the biggest advantage of factory images is the option to customize it and restore to latest build if something goes haywire.
The search giant has released factory images for three carrier specific stock Android devices. In addition to the factory images, Google has confirmed that these devices will also receive the OTA update. The factory images are now available for Google Pixel 2 on Verizon, Nexus 6P on Softbank and Nexus 5X on Telstra or Softbank.
Those planning to flash their devices must note that factory images are specific for each phone and it is important to get the right factory image from Google’s factory images page. The changelog only mentions January security patch but it is likely that Google would have squashed some bugs as well.
With its Pixel and Nexus phones, Google offers two major software updates and security updates for three years. However, with the release of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google changed its software strategy and confirmed the second-generation Pixel phones will get three major software updates and monthly security updates for three years.
One of the reasons to consider Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices remains its timely software and security update. With the release of these factory images, Google is just making it easier for users of these devices to be on the latest version of the software.