October 26, 2016
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Android 7.1 Nougat is Here – And It’s Even Better Than We Expected

Android 7.1 Nougat is now available, and it’s packed with a range of features that extends the capabilities of Android devices. Find out what new features are in store with this update.

The year is far from over, with all the updates and new products being launched. It seems that Android has more up to its sleeves. Following the announcement and global release of Android 7.0 Nougat back in August, developers have another OS update in store for Android users – Android 7.1 Nougat.

Last October 19, Google released Android 7.1 and announced an Android Beta program for the new OS. According to Dave Burke, Android’s VP of Engineering, the new version is “an incremental update based on Android 7.0”. This will also include new features that consumers and developers can take delight in, such as Daydream VR support, image keyboard support, app shortcuts, and A/B system updates.

WHY SHOULD WE BE EXCITED WITH THIS UPDATE?

As with any OS update, the new Android 7.1 Nougat provides enhanced security and performance than its previous version. It comes with a range of bug fixes, new APIs, and a variety of optimizations for better device performance.

pixel nougat

The developer preview beta is available for select Nexus devices and tablets – Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixel C tablet. It will also be available for Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Android developers announced that they will be extending the developer preview to other devices come November.

The release of Android 7.1 Nougat is good news to developers for many reasons, mainly because this means extended device capabilities for better user experience and engagement. This also gives them more features to text their apps, such as an updated SDK, device system images, and emulators.

WHAT FUNCTIONALITIES ARE AVAILABLE?

One of the most notable functionalities is the apps shortcuts. While it was initially introduced during the beta program for Android Nougat, it was scrapped. It was later added to the 7.1 update. This function takes users straight into the app instantly. Developers can also create up to five shortcuts.

app shortcuts

The power menu also features a new restart setting. Instead of switching off, the device will have the option of power cycling. This will be available to Nexus 5 and Nexus 6P units.

keyboard support

Image courtesy of Android Authority

Another feature is the image keyboard support that allows users to send stickers, GIFs, emojis, and other types of content directly from their keyboard. Android did not release any statement if this will be supported in Google Keyboard.

The Android 7.1 update also includes storage manager intent. This takes users to a new Settings screen and allows them to remove unused files. This means more storage space for their device. New APIs are also added to support telephony configuration options and multi-endpoint calling.

MORE TO COME

Android developers continue to work with their partners to make the OS update available to other devices in the near future. They encourage developers to download the update as soon as possible to test if their apps are compatible with the OS.  

The Android 7.1 is another step into making devices more optimized for the users. After the developer preview, we can expect a more stable update and more features to the OS.