Android 7.0 (Nougat) is now officially alive and kicking. After going through various developer previews over the last few months, Google this week finally unleashed the latest version of Android. Of course, in spite of it now being available, due to the way in which Android updates work, it is only available to a handful of devices, Nexus devices. What is becoming clear though, is that while those non-Nexus devices wait for their upgrade to Nougat to arrive, Android 7.0 itself will go through some additional and more substantial-than-usual changes.
This is because Google also announced that Nougat will continue to see additional releases coming through in maintenance form. What's more, these maintenance updates are also said to be coming with their own developer preview versions in the meantime. In terms of when the first will arrive, the early indications point towards a fall release (most likely along with the new Nexus devices) and the first update is one which is said to be already being worked on. Since those first reports came through, more information has started to trickle in about these maintenance updates. For instance, a report which came through earlier today detailed that the first maintenance release (MR1) will likely include some of the additional niceties that had been expected to arrive yesterday with Nougat, namely the Google Assistant, the Nexus Launcher and so on. Now, there are indications that the next update could arrive in the form of Android 7.1.
While not massively informative, what such a step up does suggest it that the next update to Nougat may be more of a substantial one than first expected, which does fall in line with the news that it will likely include the Nexus Launcher and so on. More importantly, the step up from 7.0 to 7.1 is certainly a bigger stepping than what had ever been seen with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), with its updates typically coming in much smaller form, like the step up to Android 6.0.1. Which again might suggest more detailed and laden updates than what was seen with Marshmallow. In terms of the 7.1 details, the information is being gleaned from Google's developer console where one of the drop down menus does currently list 7.1 as a selectable filter option. Although, it does need to be made clear that this is not certain yet and currently more of an observation than anything else.