Android 7.1 Developer Preview arrives on the Nexus 6P, 5X and Pixel C

Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview is now live for a couple Nexus devices and a Pixel tablet

Not so long ago, Google said the Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview will soon be making its way to the Nexus 6P, 5X and Pixel C. Google kept true to its word and this week the new build started rolling out to owners of these devices.

The timing is perfect, given the fact that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are officially hitting US stores today. Customers will be able to pick up the phones, which come with Android 7.1 pre-installed, from Verizon and Best Buy.

Google is taking an incremental approach with this update. Remember that Android Marshmallow never made it beyond the 6.0.1 version, so Google going straight to Android 7.1 seems to indicate there are some fairly big changes bundled up in the release.

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According to the official Android Developers blog, the new Developer Preview introduces a suite of new features like application shortcuts and circular image support, wallpaper metadata, storage manager intent plus image keyboard support. On top of that, there’s an updated SDK and tools, documentations, samples, and emulators plus device system images for running apps on supported devices.

To get started Google instructs users to:

– update to Android Studio 2.2.2

– download API Level 25 platform, emulator system images and tools (the final API Level 25 SDK is available for download via the SDK Manager in Android Studio)

– install the API Level 25 SDK and update the project’s ompileSdkVersion to 25 to build and test against the new APIs

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There are a few ways you can get your hands on the Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview. The first and easiest variant requires users to sign up for the Android Beta program and accept the update over the air.

Another solution is to download the entire factory image in the form of a .TGZ file and flash the image to the phone using the flast.bat method. Or you can download the OTA zip file instead.

Google reminds us the Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview is a beta version, so you’re invited to test and identify device-specific issues.

The search giant said an update will be issued in November, with the public, consumer-bound Android 7.1 build coming out sometime in December.