One of the problems with Android is fragmentation when it comes to software updates. This is because the onus falls onto the manufacturers of the phone to issue the update, not Google, meaning that if Samsung chooses not to update a certain model, that’s just too bad. For the most part, Google’s Nexus lineup did a good job of ensuring timely updates.
However it seems that there will be further fragmentation within Android as it seems that Google will now be reserving certain features for its recently announced Pixel handsets. According to PhoneArena who confirmed with Google, there are certain features that will not be available to non-Pixel handsets in the Android 7.1 Nougat update.
This includes the Pixel Launcher, Google Assistant (which was recently confirmed), unlimited storage for original photos/videos, Smart Storage, the Pixel Camera app, Phone support, and Screen-share. Granted these features aren’t exactly make or break, but it is certainly troubling to see Google head down that path.
Who knows perhaps in the future there could be certain killer features for Android that Google could keep exclusive to their own devices, and this is just the start. The semi-good news is that there’s a good chance certain features like the launcher and camera app will be ripped and its APK made available, but that’s not really the point, is it?