Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Google recently unveiled their Pixel devices and as with every new phone released under the header of the search engine giant, the phone received an update in the Android Operating System. The Pixel devices were the first devices to run Android 7.1 out-of-the-box. However, the yet-to-be retired Nexus devices were not promised an upgrade nor a timeframe was given out as to when the update would roll out.

This infuriated the Nexus owners and many people were quick to call out Google on the lack of transparency after which the company promised that Nexus devices would be receiving the update before the year ends. However, the search engine giant made another shift to the timeline promising a developer preview for devices before the month is out. This announcement was made last week and as promised the Developer Preview has started rolling out to Nexus devices that are part of the Beta Program. The build number of the Developer Preview is NPF10C and the update is titled as Android N-MR1.

It should be noted that the developers at Android have labeled the upgrade as an incremental one; however, there are still plenty of goodies baked into the system which sweetens up the deal. Most of the changes are developer-facing, that is, the implementation would be dependent when games and other popular apps decide to integrate the changes into their applications.

Circular Icons

Many people were disappointed with the circular icons seen on the Pixel devices. However, circular icons are the direction that Google wishes to adopt and are being included in the update.

Image Support on Keyboard

Google has now expanded the type of content that users can send via their keyboards. The new keyboard allows users to send content such as GIFs and Stickers. Maybe, in the future, Google might also consider porting Gboard to Android.

App Shortcuts API

The Android team has listed an App Shortcut API which would allow developers to create shortcuts that are placeable in the user’s launcher. This resembles to Apple’s 3D Touch minus the elegance. Now users would be able to directly access various shortcuts of the application directly.

Storage Manager Intent

With the new devices, Google has focused much on storage. An app would directly take you to a settings page which would you in clearing unused files, thereby clearing storage.

The new update seems promising. However, we are yet to see how bug-free the new Android experience would be.