No joke — Android 7.1.2 may hit just after April Fools' Day. At the end of
January, Google released a beta version of Android 7.1.2 for a handful of
Nexus devices, along with its new Pixel phones. The company said that it
was "an incremental maintenance release focused on refinements," including
"bug fixes and optimizations, along with a small number of enhancements for
carriers and users." It's been 6 weeks since that fateful day, and despite
two new security updates for those on the regular track, users on 7.1.2
beta haven't heard much news. That's likely because, as VP of Android Dave
Burke pointed out in the initial blog post, the company is readying a
public release for "a couple of months" after its initial unveiling, which
works out to be the end of March or beginning of April. The largest carrier
in Canada is set to release a big Pixel update on April 3. That timeline is
now reinforced by the fact that Rogers, the largest carrier in Canada, is
calling for its Pixels to receive an update to enable VoLTE, along with the
latest requisite security updates, on April 3. On its own, that wouldn't be
a giveaway for a new wider Android release, but Rogers has been testing
VoLTE service on its Pixels with the Android 7.1.2 beta; the latest Android
7.1.1 release, with a March 5 security patch, does not enable Voice Over
LTE, despite there being a Rogers-only version. While this is by no means a
certainly, it makes sense that Google would release Android 7.1.2 at the
beginning of the month, on the day usually reserved for security bulletins
and new factory images. And while the new version itself is not
particularly exciting, we know that one group of users — Pixel owners on
Rogers — will at the very least be able to make crisper-sounding phone
calls come April 3.
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