A First Look at Android 7.1 Nougat App Shortcuts on Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Android 7.1 Nougat

Google is set to push Android 7.1 Nougat to the likes of Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X as well as the Pixel C slate. However, as at the time of this writing, the OS is only available on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Even though the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will be getting Android 7.1 Nougat in the coming weeks, this will only be available via the Android Beta Program. Apparently, Google says that this Nougat update will be incremental, suggesting that nothing major will be added to the OS in comparison to the existing Android 7.0 Nougat.

The original version of Nougat started rolling out about two months ago, but only Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, among other Nexus devices, have received the update. When compared to the latest Android 7.1 Nougat on the Google Pixel phones, there are some features that you find in the newer version and are missing in the inaugural version.

Other than the likes of Google Assistant, Camera v4.2 and Pixel Launcher, the new Android 7.1 Nougat also adds App Shortcuts to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones. So, what do these really add to the Pixel and Pixel XL that you won’t find on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X? Let’s take a closer look.

For starters, know that App Shortcuts on Android 7.1 Nougat are nothing different from what you have had on your PC, for instance, for years now. However, they are more advanced than you can think of. When you long-press on an app’s icon, which in essence is a shortcut to the app in question, you will be taken to a given spot or action of the said app. This happens for the icons on the home screen or even inside the Launcher.

Android 7.1 Nougat

In short, you can long-press on Gmail, Google Maps, Allo, Chrome or any other apps to see these shortcuts. It gets even better with these App Shortcuts on Android 7.1 Nougat as they can be grabbed and dropped on the home screen to allow even quicker access to the actions.

As you may have noticed, most apps that are currently working with this feature are Google-owned. This doesn’t mean that the feature will remain exclusive to Google Apps, however, developers of third party apps must also include these App Shortcuts to their apps in order to bring out the fun. This is expected to happen once Android 7.1 Nougat starts reaching other devices.

Hopefully, you aren’t thinking that this is Google’s 3D Touch. Well, no. However, it is just a way the company has found to add more functionality to its long-press feature.

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