Google recently announced its first ‘Made by Google’ smartphones named Pixel and Pixel XL. The smartphones are the first to ditch the budget friendly ‘Nexus’ branding and Google is pushing into the territory dominated by Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy range.
At the time of announcement, Google confirmed that both Pixel and Pixel XL run Android 7.1 Nougat, an incremental update to Android 7.0. The new Android 7.1 Nougat brings new features like platform support for Daydream VR, image keyboard support, app shortcuts and A/V system updates. Google says Android 7.1 Nougat is being tested by device makers and it plans to make the OS available to app developers.
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With Android 7.1 Developer Preview, most app developers can get their apps ready for the next generation platform. Google says the Android 7.1 Nougat will be made available as an open developer preview later this month.
New features available with Android 7.1 Nougat:
1. App shortcuts API: With Android 7.1 Nougat, app developers can let users directly access some of the key actions right from the launcher. The implemenation is similar to the force touch shortcut on Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. App developers can create up to 5 static or dynamic shortcuts.
2. Circular App Icons support: With Pixel, Google introduced circular app icons as part of its Pixel launcher. While Pixel launcher stays exclusive to the Pixel smartphones, Android team is bringing circular app icons to other apps with the 7.1 Nougat preview.
3. Image keyboard support: With the support for image keyboard, Android 7.1 Nougat users can enter custom stickers, animated gifs, and more from their stock keyboard. App developers can allow certain type of keyboard data allowing users to enter images and other content.
4. Enhanced Live Wallpaper metadata: Google is bringing one of the features already available on some of the stock Android ROMs. With enhanced live wallpaper metadata, developers can provide metadata about their live wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpaper as a preview.
Google is still keeping some of the Pixel exclusive features away from Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview. While Google bringing new features is cool, the app