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Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview announced, will be released soon

As Google gears up for the release of its Pixel phone lineup, the company is also getting developers ready for changes in the latest version of Android.
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Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer on
Image: Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Alongside announcing a pair of Pixel phones at an event in early October, Google also revealed the first major update to Android 7.0 Nougat.

On Tuesday, Google used the Android Developers Blog to inform developers Android 7.1 is set for release later this month as a developer preview.

As a refresher, Android 7.1 will incorporate support for Google's Daydream VR platform, improved system updates, app shortcuts (similar to 3D Touch on the iPhone, only without requiring pressure on the display to activate), and a new image keyboard (think stickers, GIFs, and so on).

Another notable feature outlined on the developer blog includes the option to use rounded icons, instead of the traditional Android approach of app icons coming in all shapes and sizes.

Missing from the list of features in Android 7.1 is Google Assistant, which will remain a Pixel exclusive for the time being.

The developer preview is compatible with the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C tablet to start, with support for "other devices" planned by the end of the preview.

According to the post, Android 7.1.x Nougat is currently scheduled for release in early December, expanding support to the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and the new Pixel phones.

For those who want to participate in the preview, you can enroll a compatible device using your Google account and visiting the Android Beta website.

Alongside the developer preview, Google will also release software tools required to build and test new features for developers as is customary with beta previews.

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