The First Android 7.1 Nougat Beta Will Arrive This Month

Back at Google’s event last week, the company confirmed that their latest phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, both run Android 7.1 Nougat. It was made known that past Nexus devices will be getting this new software as the company said a developer beta would be arriving by the end of 2016. However, this time frame is rather wide so it was anyone’s guess as to when the new build would arrive. Luckily, today the Mountain View giant announced that the first Android 7.1 developer build will begin hitting Nexuses some time this month.

Later this month we’ll be bringing you the Android 7.1 platform as an open Developer Preview, similar to what we did for Android 7.0. You’ll be able to test and build on the new platform and try the latest features.

For those wondering, the Nexus 6P, 5X, and Pixel C will be the first devices to get the Android 7.1 beta, while others like the 6 and 9 will have to wait until Google creates a build for them. However, this shouldn’t be very long after the first three gain the software as the company plans to release the update to all compatible devices in the hands of the public this December. Hopefully, this doesn’t get delayed until 2017 like the release of Android Wear 2.0.

Google has provided everyone with release notes that correspond with 7.1 Nougat. And according to them, App Shortcuts (previously called Launcher Shortcuts) seem to be supported by more devices other than the Pixels.

  • App shortcuts API — lets you surface key actions directly in the launcher and take your users deep into your app instantly. You can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.
  • Circular app icons support — lets you provide great-looking rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.
  • Enhanced wallpaper metadata — lets you provide metadata about your wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. You can show existing metadata such as label, description, and author, as well as a new context URL and title to link to more information.
  • Image keyboard support — expands the types of content that users can enter from their keyboards, letting them express themselves through custom stickers, animated gifs, and more. Apps can tell the keyboard what types of content they accept, and keyboards can deliver all of the images and other content that they offer to the user. For broad compatibility, this API will also be available in the support library.
  • Storage manager Intent — lets an app take the user directly to a new Settings screen to clear unused files and free up storage space on the device.
  • APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options.

If your Nexus device is already registered to receive developer betas of Nougat, you’ll receive the 7.1 beta once it goes live automatically. For those of you who prefer flashing, there’s bound to be images available for supported devices at launch. We’ll be sure to include download links to these files for your convenience.

Will you be testing Android 7.1 Nougat?