Quick Look at Android Nougat 7.1

Google announced a bunch of new hardware yesterday, which is always exciting. They didn’t get to much software discussion on the new phones, but the Pixel and Pixel XL are not running Android 7.0 Nougat. Instead, they’re running Android 7.1. This is a minor version update, so it’s still called Nougat, but it does bring a number of small changes for developers to build improved apps.

Android Police has a full changelog, and it’s not surprising that a lot of changes were made solely for the Pixel phones. Looking at some of the more generic features, it seems clear that many of these will not be coming to Android TV anytime soon.

App shortcuts make it easy to quickly execute common actions from your launcher, although the Leanback Launcher has currently been fairly static. There’s no support for widgets or shortcuts already (not that it’d be a large improvement). Circular app icons don’t make sense with banners either.

While many of the changes are nice power-user features for developers and users, they don’t make sense in the context of Android TV. Although Google has stated that the OS will roll out as a developer preview by the end of the year. Will that also roll out to the Nexus Player, which is already two years old? The answer is unclear, although I’m not sure that it matters.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker) Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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  • Mathew Michel

    I’m worried about Android TV. Maybe enough people haven’t bought into it and that’s why it wasn’t brought up (and why Chromecast dominates).
    Or, I suppose it’s possible that Android TV won’t make a huge splash until they release a Pixel TV.

    • anthony garera

      Don’t worry too much Cast dominating is good for all of us and Android TV benefits from it, Chromecast is popular because of the low barrier of entry and Android TV for those who want all the great cast features Like Home to TV casting and more. A Pixel TV would be nice though we haven’t seen anything indicating that yet.

      • Mathew Michel

        Good points. Yeah, I appreciate Chromecast is pushing the boundaries but I feel development on Android TV is just left wanting. NVIDIA is the only one that made a fantastic TV set top box.
        Maybe the next TV unit will be unveiled at next year’s I/O. Or…if they do away with Android TV they should at least build a remote for Chromecast.

  • dougo13

    It matters a lot to us Nexus Player owners. I don’t see any changes on mine though after the roll out. Maybe you can tell us what 7.1.1 gave us.