Here's what you'll miss with Android 7.1 Nougat, unless you own a Google Pixel

Google has announced key features of the forthcoming Android 7.1 update, together with exclusive features for the new Pixel phones.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google's new Pixel smartphones will come with Android 7.1 Nougat when they go on sale in November.

Image: Google

Google has announced Android 7.1 Nougat, with a whole lot more in store for the new Pixel and Pixel XL than for stock Android devices.

Google's new 5-inch and 5.5-inch Pixel smartphones will come with Android 7.1 Nougat, the next major feature update to Android 7.0, released in August.

Other Android devices, including Google's soon-to-be abandoned Nexus line, will also receive Android 7.1, minus a host of exclusive features for the new 'Made By Google' flagships, which will go on sale in some markets from $649 in November.

Incidentally, Lenovo's launch of the Phab2 Pro featuring Google's depth-sensing 3D Tango camera has now been confirmed for November, making the month a big one for Google smartphones.

A new Android 7.1 change log published by Android Police details exactly what exclusive features Pixel will have over other Android devices. These include the Pixel launcher, which introduces different swipe actions, and Google Assistant.

Pixel devices also enjoy unlimited Google Photos backup in original quality, as opposed to the compressed-only unlimited offer for the iOS and Android app. And of course, Google's new Pixel phone has chat support, as well as the related screen-sharing function.

Google announced it will be offering 24x7 support for Pixel owners, indicating it is looking to support consumers rather than its previous focus on developers with Nexus. Like the Nexus, Pixel devices will receive rapid version and security updates from Google directly.

The list also highlights new hardware-related features such as the Pixel camera with image and video stabilization, pro camera features, a Sensor Hub processor, and cosmetic changes to support Assistant, new wallpapers and sounds, as well as a Pixel-exclusive setup process and dynamic calendar date icon.

With Nougat still rolling out to Nexus devices, Android 7.0 hasn't yet shown up on Google's Android distribution dashboard, meaning it has a less than 0.1 percent share of all Android versions.

When Android 7.1 does finally reach non-Nexus Android handsets, it will bring a new Night Light blue light filter, akin to Apple's iOS Night Shift, and support for Google's newly-announced Daydream VR headset. End-users also will get a new optional swipe-down gesture for the fingerprint sensor.

Developers will gain new APIs for app shortcuts, support for circular app icons, and fingerprint sensor support to open and close notification shades.

Read more on Google and Pixel

Editorial standards