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Android 7.1 kills a popular Nexus feature, but Pixel gets an upgrade

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Google Pixel XL

If you’re a Nexus phone user on Android 7.0 Nougat, you may be enjoying the new Night Mode feature, which eases up on harmful blue light emitted from the display when the sun goes down.

However, it seems as if upgrading to Android 7.1 later this year might rob users of the feature... and it’s all down to the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones.

In Android 7.1, Google is replacing the f.lux and Night Shift-like Night Mode with a new feature called Night Light, which is Pixel exclusive. Still with us? Ok, Good.

Related: New Android 7.1 features to get excited about

In a post on Google+, Android developer Ian Larke said the Nexus phones cannot support Night Light because the display tinting is now a hardware-driven solution, whereas Night Mode was all about the software.

He wrote (via SlashGear): “Night Light uses a new hardware composer interface to do color transforms on the display hardware rather than using a GL Shader, which unfortunately means it requires driver support that is not present on Nexus devices.”

We’re not sure why this requires Google to remove the existing Night Mode feature from Nexus devices updated to Android 7.1.

Perhaps it’s all about justifying why the Pixel phones cost twice as much as the Nexus 5X and 6P did just one year ago?

The plot thickens.

Android 7.1 is currently in developer preview with a release expected before the end of the year. Will this stop you from upgrading? Share your thoughts in the comments below

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PGrGr

October 21, 2016, 10:24 am

Surely Google is not arbitrarily removing something popular without providing a convincing explanation? Not that they have a track record or anything...

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