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.