Android 7.1 Developer Preview with App shortcuts, Image keyboard and more to roll out this month


Google showed preview of Android 7.1 (Nougat), the next incremental Android update at the Pixel launch event last week. Today it has announced that it will release open developer preview of Android 7.1 for select Nexus devices later this month. This brings new features for consumers and developers, including better Daydream VR support and A/B system updates such as app shortcuts and image keyboard support.  It also brings optimizations and bug fixes as wells as new APIs (API level 25).

New features in Android 7.1 (Nougat)

  • App shortcuts API — lets developers surface key actions directly in the launcher and take users deep into your app instantly. Can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.
  • Circular app icons support — lets developers provide rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.
  • Enhanced live wallpaper metadata — lets developers provide metadata about live wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. 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.

Android 7.1 (Nougat) developer preview will roll out for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices starting this October with other compatible devices to follow. The easiest way to get the update when it’s released is by joining Android Beta Program.

Final release will be available in early December for Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, 9, Player, Pixel C, and supported Android One devices as well as Pixel and Pixel XL. Google said that it has already been working closely with device makers to get them ready for Android 7.1. It is not clear if OEMs will skip Android 7.0 for Android 7.1.


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram