Update, March 16: A Google Nexus community manager replied to the Reddit users (via Android Police) complaining about the “update” that brought their Nexus 6 phones back to Android 7.0. Unfortunately, the answer leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Here it is, in full:
There was a recent OTA update for Android 7.0 that is causing confusion for some Nexus 6 users. For those of you that want to guarantee future OTA updates, you will need to get back on the 7.0 supported track. If you are experiencing issues after accepting the 7.0 update, please factory reset your device to help resolve any problems.
For any Nexus 6 users that want to continue flashing/sideloading future builds, you can stay on 7.1.1 and continue to do so.
It seems that Google can only guarantee future updates (presumably security updates, since the Nexus 6 will not get any more operating system updates) for those on Android 7.0. It’s not clear why the downgrade from 7.1 was necessary in the first place. As for the issues caused by the OTA from 7.1.1 to 7.0, the only recommended solution is a factory reset.
Original post, March 15: The Nexus 6 is considered an “old” phone by most conventional standards, but Google still managed to keep the version of Android on the phone updated as much as they could. The company decided to end those updates earlier this year, with the final version being Android 7.1.1 Nougat. However, it appears that some owners are now getting messages of an over-the-air update that would take the phone back down to Android 7.0.
The reports, as posted in a Reddit thread, show that after the “update” is installed, the phone’s apps begin to crash. Obviously this release was a mistake by Google, and hopefully the company will pull this OTA update very soon from circulation. In the meantime, we would strongly suggest that if you are a Nexus 6 owner, do not download or install any updates you might see as being available for your phone until all of this is sorted out.
This is just the latest strange update news for the Nexus 6. Earlier this month, Google briefly pulled the March 2017 Android security updates for the phone, as it apparently was causing issues with Android Pay. The update was quickly fixed and went back into circulation.
If you own a Nexus 6, have you seen this odd OTA update to Android 7.0 for your phone? Let us know in the comments.