Google has surprisingly done something unusual after the announcement of the latest Pixel phones. They also announced the latest Android version without any official statement about it. It was said that these phones would run the new Android 7.1 Nougat and Nexus owners are eagerly looking at this new software. Google also sustained its Android Beta program, so if you have the right device, running the latest version of Android is a snap!
With Android 7.1, Nexus owners were unable to get Google’s full series of upgrades. These Pixel phones have some significant features such as Google Assistant, Fingerprint Sensor Gesture, and Pixel Launcher. However, it doesn’t provide enough value to the Pixel. Some of its features have restrictions in existing devices, which stops the feature from working. Technically, it is not a Pixel-exclusive; it’s just that, there are no other phones that support it as of this time.
We can expect few noticeable changes with the Developer Preview such as, improved touch display responsiveness and a new storage manager that can remove your old files to allocate more space for new files. Google will bring back the Android launcher shortcuts, which was demoed in the previous Android 7.0 Preview. This time, they named it as “app shortcuts.” App icons can also produce long-press shortcuts to certain app functionality (i.e. the camera has some links for making videos and selfies).
To be able to install the latest Android 7.1 Developer Preview, you must have a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or Pixel C. More Nexus devices will be added next month. The first thing to do is to go to the beta website and sign in with your Google account. You will see eligible devices and once you enroll one, the Over-the-Air (OTA) update of the Developer Preview will appear after few minutes. Note that this will not remove any of your data, but since it’s a “preview,” we should always back up our data just to be safe.
If you wish to run the installation manually, you can find full system images that are ready for download. With it, you don’t need to join the beta, and you can be able to install them even if you are running a 3rd party ROM. Remember to make the Android SDK works on your computer and unlock your device’s bootloader. All the data on your device will be removed.
Though this process is actually for the developers, many enthusiasts are also eager to install the beta. The process is so easy and you can take a peak on the latest Android 7.1 before anyone does. Google is currently working on Android 7.1’s final version and will make it available on Nexus devices later this year or in the early 2017.