WHAT’S NEW IN ANDROID 7.1 NOUGAT?
Along with the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL – plus 4K Chromecast and Home – Google very quietly unveiled the next version of Android.
Nougat version 7.1 is currently only available on the two Pixel phones, but Google has now rolled out a new dev preview for the Nexus 6P, 5X, and Pixel C. That means owners of those handsets and tablet will be able to get an early look at Nougat 7.1 ahead of a full launch later this year.
The preview should be automatically downloaded for those enrolled in the Android Beta programme, but you could download the entire factory image as a TGZ file and flash the image to a phone, or download the OTA zip file. If you don’t know what either of those last two methods means, we reccomend sticking with signing up to the Beta programme.
Before following any of these methods, we reccomend backing up your device, just in case.
Of course, what you get with the final update will depend on which phone you own. See, what’s in Android 7.1 on the new Pixel phones is very different to what will be in Android 7.1 on a Nexus 6P or Moto Z.
Android 7.1 release date: Q4 2016
ANDROID 7.1 ON PIXEL AND PIXEL XL
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Google’s latest flagship gets top billing when it comes to features. Both of these phones come with Nougat 7.1 installed, and with lots of exclusive features. Here are some of the best:
• Pixel Launcher (including new icons, altered search box, weather widget, and new app drawer) – looks like this will be exclusive for a while, which is a shame
• Google Assistant – Hardly surprising as this one of the Pixel’s biggest selling features
• Unlimited original quality photo and video upload
• Phone and Chat support
• Exclusive Pixel camera app – this feature some Pro modes, video stabilisation, HDR+ image, and Smartburst
• Filled nav buttons
• Wallpaper picker
There are a lot of nice features here, and most of them are the big selling points of the Pixel and Pixel XL. It’s also a different tactic from Google, who previously let pretty much any Android phone uses its own apps. It’s a kick in the teeth for Nexus 6P and 5X owners, certainly.
NON-EXCLUSIVE 7.1 FEATURES
Exclusive features aside, these are the features that will be standard in 7.1:
• Night Light mode
• Improvement to touch displays
• Seamless updates (depending on your phone’s hardware)
• Daydream VR mode (will need a supported phone)
So, it seems clear that Android 7.1 is heavily focused on Pixel phones, but hopefully the Pixel exclusive features won’t stay that way for too long.