Android 7.0 Nougat may have only launched in August, but that isn’t stopping Google from already prepping a major update. The company today announced version 7.1 – the same running on its new Pixel phones – will be available to beta test later this month.
Though the company is calling it an incremental update, there are several significant features, some of them features you’d normally find in a version upgrade. Support for Google’s new Daydream VR platform is probably the biggest of these, but there are a few others.
Android 7.1 addresses one area Android has lagged for a while behind iOS: support for images directly in keyboards. That means you can finally get a proper GIF keyboard that doesn’t require you to paste a link or go through odd hoops just to share an image.
Google is trying to make Android a bit more uniform by making all its official icons circular with the Pixel phone. Version 7.1 includes rounded icon resources for developers to match the look on the Pixel phone, as well as ‘other launchers.’
Finally, there’s an App Shortcuts API, which is basically 3D touch, without requiring a pressure sensitive screen. As shown in the header image, this will let developers add up to 5 shortcuts to homescreen apps, presumably accessible via a long-press.
For more on the developer-oriented updates, head on over to the source link below, and as with the original Nougat previews, don’t be surprised if more features are added along the way.
You can try out Android 7.1 later this month using the same anyone-can-join Android Beta program from the original Nougat previews. The update will be available to try for the Nexus 5X, 6P, Pixel C to start, and will extend to ‘other supported devices’ by the end of the preview.
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