Google’s first set of tweaks to Nougat brings Daydream support and more developer features
Google has announced it will release a developer preview and public beta version of Android 7.1 later this month, ushering in the first major update to Android Nougat.
Starting with Google’s own Pixel and Nexus devices, the update will bring with it a few tweaks, such as the Night Light mode which reduces the presence of blue light when using a phone in the dark, touch and display optimisations, and support for Daydream VR.
App makers have more to gain from Android 7.1 as it comes with more features to tie third-party apps in closer with Android. These include the ability to provide app shortcuts to take users to other parts of an app instantly, support for circular app icons, and improved meta data for live wallpapers.
Android 7.1 also comes with enhanced support for inputting images like custom stickers and animated gifs from keyboards, with an application programming interface (API) for developers to allow their apps to tell the user’s keyboard what images it will support.
The storage manager intent function will allow developers to have the option for a user to access their phone’s settings directly from within the app, allowing them to carry out functions such as freeing-up storage space on the device.
“Android 7.1 is an incremental release, but it’s always important to make sure your apps look and run great — especially as devices start to reach consumers,” Google said.
“The Android 7.1 Developer Preview will give you everything you need to test your apps or extend them with new features like shortcuts or keyboard images. Included are the SDK with new APIs, build tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported Nexus devices. We’ll also include a launcher and apps that support app shortcuts, and a keyboard and apps that support keyboard images.”
While it may just be a minor update rather than a complete overhaul, Android 7.1 is indicative of how far Google has come in making its mobile operating system both user and developer friendly.