Google today said that it has started rolling out the developer preview of Android Nougat version 7.1, which features home screen app shortcuts, support for circular home screen icons, and image keyboards. On October 11, Google said this release would come out later in the month, and now Google has followed through on that promise.
The release is different from your average Android developer preview because it brings to some other devices what was until now exclusive to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones.
Nougat 7.1 is currently available on a very limited set of Android devices: the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P phones and the Pixel C convertible tablet. “We’ll extend the Developer Preview to other devices in November,” Google vice president of engineering Dave Burke wrote in a blog post. As was the case with the launch of Android Nougat 7.0, people who are enrolled in the Android Beta program will get the release without having to do anything.
This release is part of Android application programming interface (API) level 25, and developers targeting that API version can now submit apps for inclusion in the Google Play Store, Burke wrote. The software development kit (SDK) for this API version is available through the SDK manager in the Android Studio integrated development environment (IDE). The preview system images for this developer preview contain Messenger and Google Keyboard apps, Burke wrote, “for testing as they include support for this new API.”
Images for supported devices are not available yet through the Android website, but they eventually should be from here.
Update on October 20: Pixel and Pixel XL images are now available through the link above.