Android, Google, Nougat

Google isn’t hiding any surprises up its sleeve this time around. About a week ago, Google had announced that it would release the developer preview for Android 7.1 later this month and today it is keeping its promise. The tech behemoth has today released the Android 7.1 Developer Preview and its SDK tools to eligible users enrolled in the Android Beta Program.

The developers can now go download the Android 7.1 SDK, tools and documentation to extend their apps capabilities with new features introduced in this build. They can also use the same to test the stability of their current app on the new platform.

Google first debuted the new software at the Pixel launch event during early October this year. But, Mountain View didn’t take the time to brief the audience of the minor changes in Android 7.1 but emphasized on features exclusive to the Pixel lineup. Yes, Google is foraying into hardware with some add-on features, such as Assistant, Pixel launcher, and others to make their offering more enticing for customers. These might never make their way to the official release of Nougat.

Though these features are the ones that make Android Nougat even more alluring, but this developer preview isn’t deprived of new features and improvements. This build introduces support for the robust Daydream VR platform to give developers time to optimize their VR apps and games for this platform. It also introduces app shortcuts, circular icons and image keyboard to expand scope of content users access from it.

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview has initially been released to a handful of devices, including Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Pixel C. There is currently no word on whether Google will extend this developer preview beyond its own previous lineup to include OEMs like Sony, LG, etc.

For those who own a Nexus or Pixel and have signed up for beta program should see an update notification pop-up soon enough. With this developer preview already out there, Google expects to deliver another preview sometime in November. It will then take the feedback requests into consideration and make the final version public in December.

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