Not too long ago, Google released their very own flagships, the Pixel and Pixel XL. Right out of the box, they run the latest software, Android 7.1 Nougat, which is exclusive to just the Pixel phones at the moment but also available as a developer preview for the Nexus 6P and 5X. Let’s take a look at the five major features of Android 7.1.
Before we get started, this overview is going to be based on new features that are available in the Android 7.1 AOSP—not Pixel exclusives.
Android 7.1 brings app shortcuts (aka launcher shortcuts). This allows the user to bring a set of quick options for compatible apps simply by using a long press—similar to Apple’s 3D Touch.
Circular app icons support
Oh yes, like ’em or not, developers will now have easy access to round icons. Google claims they are “great-looking,” but that’s subjective. Personally, some actually look nice (Maps, Translate), but others, not so much (all Play Store apps, YouTube, and much more).
Keyboard image insertion
Image insertion is now available thanks to 7.1. iOS users have had access to Google’s Gboard for quite awhile now, and it’s time to share some of that love on Android. It’s here now, well, sort of. The keyboard still doesn’t allow you to perform a quick Google search and what not, but it does let you search for GIFs now.
Now, this one won’t be coming to current phones—at least Nexus devices that is—and that’s the ability to swipe down on the fingerprint scanner to bring down the notification shade.
Another unfortunate one not making it to current Nexus devices in Android 7.1 is the ability to turn on night light or night mode. Essentially, night light, when turned on, reduces the screen’s blue light with a warm, orange-red color. Thus, making it easier on the eye’s when in bed or in dim lighting.
This feature seemed to work, however, in Android 7.0 with a neat little app and by using the system UI tuner. Sadly, it does not work anymore because Google is apparently using a different set of drivers to enable night light.
Other notable mentions
A few other notable features in the Android 7.1 Nougat changelog include seamless system updates, Daydream VR mode, support for visual voicemail, and smart storage.
If you wanted to take a glance at the official Android 7.1 Nougat changelog, read the below:
- Night Light
- Touch/display performance improvements
- Moves (Fingerprint swipe down gesture – opt-in)
- Seamless A/B system updates
- Daydream VR mode
- Developer features:
- App shortcuts / shortcut manager APIs
- Circular app icons support
- Keyboard image insertion
- Fingerprint sensor gesture to open/close notification shade
- Manual storage manager Intent for apps
- Improved VR thread scheduling
- Enhanced wallpaper metadata
- Multi-endpoint call support
- Support for various MNO requirements
- PCDMA voice privacy property
- Source type support for Visual Voicemail
- Carrier config options for managing video telephony
- Manual storage manager – identifies apps and files and apps using storage
Source: Android Police