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The latest Android Nougat update brings a piece of Pixel to Nexus phones

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Android 7.1.1 starts going live today as an over-the-air update — a roll out that will continue through the next several weeks to a select number of Google-approved devices, including the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One), along with devices enrolled in Google’s Android Beta Program.

Those devices will mostly be playing catch-up with the company’s last flagship, the Pixel, which got a bit of a head start when it launched with 7.1. It’s not exactly a major upgrade, but should help curb users who have been suffering from a little bit of Pixel-based jealousy.

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The update includes a more inclusive set of emojis, with male/female counterparts for those emojis that were initially just limited to one — include female welders and men getting haircuts. Because it’s 2016 and anyone can get haircuts and weld stuff, thank you very much. Other message-based additions include the ability to send GIFs from the keyboard of apps like Allo, Messenger and Hangouts.

App shortcuts have been added to the home screen in this latest version, as well, launching favorites with a long press of the corresponding icon.

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WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH ALL THESE BEZEL-FREE PHONES?

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SOME SAY THE obsession with shrinking bezels began in 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, its 3.5-inch touchscreen surrounded by a thick rectangular frame. Others say it began even earlier, [...]