Google announced Android 7.1 Nougat along side its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones on September 4. Now, the search giant is making the developer preview of Android 7.1 to Nexus lineup of devices. Users with eligible Nexus devices can get started with the new release by downloading the SDK and tools. “To get the 7.1 release on your eligible device, enroll your device in the Android Beta program. If your device is already enrolled, you’ll receive the update automatically,” reads Android Developers blogpost. Google’s Android 7.1 Developer Preview brings with it new features such as app shortcuts and image keyboard support.
Even though the Android 7.1 Developer Preview is targeted at developers; consumers who wish to download the same should to try the same their secondary devices. With the new update, the API level has jumped to Level 25 and developers can publish apps targeting the new API level directly on Google Play Store. Google will release another update for Android 7.1 in November, followed by the final public release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in December. Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview will initially be available on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices. Google is planning to extend the same to other devices in November.
Users who’ve enrolled their devices in the Android Beta program will get Android 7.1 Developer Preview update right away. “If you aren’t yet enrolled in Android Beta, the easiest way to get started is to visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet — you’ll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air,” explains Android developers blogpost.
Take a look at the new features of Android 7.1 Developer Preview:
1. App shortcuts API: The app shortcuts API allows users to directly access some of the key actions right from the launcher. It is quite similar to the force touch shortcut on Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. Up to 5 static or dynamic shortcuts can be created by app developers.
2. Circular App Icons support: With Pixel, Google introduced circular app icons as part of its Pixel launcher. While Pixel launcher will be exclusive to the Pixel smartphones, Google will bring circular app icons to other apps with the 7.1 Nougat preview.
3. Image keyboard support: The image keyboard support will allow users to enter custom stickers, animated gifs, and more from their stock keyboard.
4. Enhanced Live Wallpaper metadata: With enhanced live wallpaper metadata, developers can provide metadata about their live wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpaper as a preview.