Google recently promised that the latest version of the successor to Android Marshmallow – Android 7.1 Nougat – will be made available to the 2015 flagship – the Huawei-made Nexus 6P – alongside the budget LG Nexus 5X and the Pixel C tablet.
While it is sometimes hard for tech companies to keep their promises when it comes to major software updates and their release dates, Google has managed to deliver on this one. Back then, the search engine giant said that the latest Android 7.1 Nougat, which is the version that comes running on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL out of the box, will be availed to select devices.
As at the time of this writing, those using the Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X as well as the tablet Pixel C can access a developer preview version of Android 7.1 Nougat on these devices. This is a beta version of the OS and is only available for developers and beta testers. Like promised, the update is not available for the likes of Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and the Nexus Player. These devices, along with compatible Android One smartphones, will receive the update later.
If you own a Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or a Pixel C tablet, you can only access this Android 7.1 Nougat by joining the Android Beta Program. If you are already part of the scheme, there should be an OTA notification headed your way, if not already there.
The major target with this release of Android 7.1 Nougat is the developer community. The OS now comes with support for Daydream VR platform as well as the ability to make apps look circular like what is seen on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. The newer version also comes with a feature known as App Shortcuts. This almost copies what Apple does with 3D Touch, but it’s nothing close to that. In essence, Google simply added more juice to the long-press feature of app icons where more options or rather shortcuts to actions and features have been added. In the new Android 7.1 Nougat beta, developers can add this ability to their apps as well.
This doesn’t mean the regular beta testers won’t be treated to something new. Apparently, the updated Android 7.1 Nougat comes with a restart button hidden in the power menu. Furthermore, Google has included support for image keyboards. The update weighs about 1.3GB on a Google Nexus 6P, so make sure you have a stable Wi-Fi connection in order to install it.