Google Pixel was the star of Google’s October 4th show, completely overshadowing Android 7.1 Nougat. In fact, Google barely mentioned the update at all, except that Pixel will be the first device to run the newest OS ahead of the Nexus line.
Turns out, a big reason for that is that many of the newest features that were shown off with the Pixel were Pixel features and not Android features.
The unlimited photo storage backup, for instance, is going to remain exclusive to the Google Pixel. It’s a big selling point for anyone that uses their phone for photography, especially right beside Apple’s premium iCloud pricing. The camera app is also tightly integrated into Pixel’s hardware, so it kind of makes sense for that to skip the Nexus devices.
However, other features, like Google Assistant, will be absent from the Android 7.1 upgrade. It’s improved over Google Now (which is currently available to pretty much all Android devices by default) and acts more like a digital assistant. Think Cortana or Siri with the ability to actually hold a conversation and not just answer questions.
Despite Google Assistant being exclusive to Pixel right now, Google does want to bring that to as many people as possible. So think of that as a timed exclusive and not a permanent thing, just as a way to push the Pixel and Pixel XL early on.
The good news is that you’ll still see some improvements with 7.1, even if it’ll leave you a little jealous of new Pixel owners.