With the launch of the Pixel smartphones, Google has released the Nexus branding, shifting all attention to the new Pixel smartphones. At the time of the launch, Google had declared that the Pixel smartphones will come pre-installed with the latest Android 7.1, giving them the first smartphones to run on the new update of the operating system. However, don’t you think that Google has ignored all about the Nexus now. In the latest post on the Android Developers Blog, Google has unveiled a list of Nexus smartphones, which will be getting the developer preview of the new rendition of Android Nougat. While Google did give a sneak peek into the new Nougat update at the Google Pixel event last week, it has now shown much more details of the update like Daydream VR support and A/B system updates to app shortcuts and image keyboard support. The open developer presurvey of the update will be available later this month.
Google has declared that the developer preview will first be kicked out for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, which will finally be increased to other supported devices by the end of the preview. At the final release of the Android 7.1, which is due in beginning December, Google will roll out updates to the full lineup of supported devices, which is the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Google Nexus Player, Pixel C, and supported Android One devices, along with Pixel and Pixel XL devices.
Android 7.1 is actually an incremental update to Android 7.0, which has a variety of optimizations and bug fixes, in counting to a few new features and APIs. Android 7.1 features an iOS’ 3D-touch like app shortcut API, which surfaces key actions direct in the launcher and takes a user deep into an app instantly. This is defined in the screenshot to the left here, and you can see how similar it is to Apple’s quick actions feature on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and now the latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Additionally, the new update also allows developers to build circular app icons.
In the period of new features, the messaging keyboard has a very similar update to iOS 10’s iMessage upgrade. The current ‘image keyboard support’ in Android 7.1 allows users to send across custom stickers and animated gifs. The update will also appear with an inbuilt Storage Manager intent, which will let an app take the user right to a new Settings screen to remove unused files and free up storage space. For carriers and calling apps, the stage inserts new APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options.
For developers, who want to get the preview automatically, they can visit Android Beta and enroll their device. Developers who have earlier enrolled a device & haven’t un-enrolled, their device will receive the update. And in case, a developer has already obtained but don’t want to receive the update, visit Android Beta to un-enroll the device as soon as possible.
While Google is previously talking about the Android 7.1 update, Android 7.0 powers a disappointingly low percentage of the device currently. At the end count, Nougat is running on less than 0.1 percent of Android devices. Although Nougat is the latest version, Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was launched way back in 2014, remains one of the most popular and widely used operating systems till date with about 35 percent devices running the OS. Even after entering fully into the smartphone game with its Pixel phones, Google is still providing carriers for handling system updates, except for security patches.
Apple’s iOS 10, on the other hand, is already working on over 50 percent of devices in just a month since release. While iOS 10 powers 54 percent of devices, there rest eight percent of iOS devices that continue to run an older version of the operating system, though about 38 percent of devices are still content with iOS 9.