Android 7.1, the first maintenance release for Nougat, is now trickling out to participants in Google’s developer beta program. A stable version of the software is available out-of-the-box on the brand new Pixel and Pixel XL, but is also coming to the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Pixel C in the form of a developer preview build, with more devices supposedly to follow suit in November.
Of course, as you probably already know, Android 7.1 on the Pixels is quite a different affair from its counterpart on other devices, as Google’s new flagships pack a host of bells and whistles, which won’t grace any other devices. Well, not officially, at least. You can still get a lot of the Pixel-exclusive features on your Android device right now, if you follow our comprehensive guide.
Ostensibly, not much has changed in 7.1, but with it, Google has opened publishing on Google Play for apps targeting the new API level 25, which too was finalized in this update. One of the most obvious and easy to spot changes comes in the form of “App shortcuts” – a feature reminiscent of Apple’s 3D touch that will allow you to access shortcuts for different functions within an app by long-pressing its icon (see the gallery below). Another thing we quickly noticed is that Google Chrome now hits you up with the option to optimize certain pages for mobile reading much more often. This happens on a page by page basis, and when the browser deems appropriate. For the full changelog for Android 7.1, check out this post.
The 7.1 update for non-Pixel devices is mainly aimed at developers, but anyone can try it out by enrolling in the public Android Beta program, as long as they own an eligible device. Albeit currently limited to the Nexus 6P/5X and Pixel C, the preview build will likely be made available on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 sometime before the official release of Android 7.1 slated for December.