When we first got our hands on Nougat, it was our impression that – even though it was a robust operating system version that seemed hand-tailored for Android fans – there was a lot of room for increased capability. In many ways, it didn’t feel quite as ‘finalized’ or polished as versions like Marshmallow had felt. Key features like flexible multi-window support felt abandoned and incomplete. We were expecting a fairly big update to Nougat sometime in the future, and it looks like this said future is sooner rather than later.
That’s right. Android 7.1 has been officially announced, and the developer preview is coming soon. According to an official post on the Android Developers Blog, this will be an incremental update that will introduce new support for things like Daydream VR, A/B system updates, app shortcuts, and image keyboards. You’ll also get things like more metadata for wallpapers.
The naming convention is interesting, because Marshmallow never even made it beyond 6.0.1. Jumping right to 7.1 would seem to imply fairly large changes, but we’re really not seeing much here to get crazy jazzed about.
It’s also worth noting that this marks the first Android update made controversial by Google’s own foray into the hardware market. It was announced that 7.1 would be arriving on Pixel devices when they hit the market, but that the software wouldn’t be available to other OEM’s until the end of the year. Now Google is making it available by the end of the month, much closer to the release date of the Pixel. It’s possible that Google might be attempting to play nice with their new competitors in the Android ecosystem, as well as dissuade accusations of non-competitive practices.
What are your thoughts regarding the Android 7.1 Developer Preview? Check out the official post over here for the full scoop, and then let us know what your take on the update is in the comments below!