Android 7.1 Developer Preview Overview

On October 19th, 2016, Google announced the developer preview of the next iteration of Android Nougat: version 7.1, which would be available for all Nexus 5x, 6p, and Pixel c devices enrolled in the Android beta program.

screenshot_20161020-073012

Android 7.1 Dev Preview Downloading

The over the air (OTA) update actually made its way to my phone, the 32 GB Ice Nexus 5x, the next day.

screenshot_20161020-073559

Android 7.1 Dev Preview Verified

Upon installing it, I immediately noticed that the version number was actually 7.1.1, with the build number NPF10C. The update also included the October 5th 2016 security patches, which address 6 critical, 17 high, 8 moderate, and 1 low severity vulnerabilities. Make sure the visit the Android Security Bulletin for more details.

screenshot_20161020-074720

Android 7.1.1 Build Number

What’s New:

The 7.1.1 update brings several new features to the table, such as:

  1. Built-in 24/7 phone and chat assistance by the Google Support team.

    screenshot_20161020-074654

    Google Support

  2. Home-screen app shortcuts

    screenshot_20161020-074841

    Android 7.1 Google Dialer shortcuts

  3. Redesigned Google Dialer app interface

    screenshot_20161027-000932

    Android 7.1 Google Dialer interface

  4. Image keyboard support
  5. Restart option in the power menu

    screenshot_20161027-004912

    Updated power menu (it’s about time)

It also includes the API Level 25 SDK and platform tools, documentation, samples and more.

Home-screen app shortcuts:

Diving a little bit deeper into the topic of home-screen app shortcuts, here is a list of my favorites so far, in no particular order:

  • Google Chrome: New tab

    screenshot_20161020-074809

    Android 7.1 Google Chrome shortcuts

  • Google Clock: Start stopwatch

    screenshot_20161026-233054

    Android 7.1 Google Clock shortcuts

  • Google Maps: Work, Home

    screenshot_20161020-075234

    Android 7.1 Google Maps shortcuts

  • Google Keep: New list

    screenshot_20161026-232223

    Android 7.1 Google Keep shortcuts

  • Google Camera: Take a video

    screenshot_20161020-074821

    Android 7.1 Google Camera shortcuts

  • Google Drive: Upload

    screenshot_20161020-075213

    Android 7.1 Google Drive shortcuts

  • Gmail: Compose

    screenshot_20161020-075242

    Android 7.1 Gmail shortcuts

Wrapping Up:

Considering it is a beta version of the operating system, it is actually quite stable. Have only encountered 3 app crashes so far, from third party apps, in a week of usage (your mileage may vary).

Upcoming updates will surely improve this, but overall it is a fairly usable build. If you have one of the supported devices, and can’t wait to use the latest and greatest software from Google, I highly recommend joining the beta program. Just keep in mind that there may still be a bug or too, but that’s kind of the point of a developer preview. Isn’t it?

Until the next time! Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to follow me on Twitter to find out when a new one is available.

Twitter: @giovanni0918
Github: giovanni0918
Website: giovanni-orlando.com

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