Google had started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat at the end of August, though the company first talked about this update back in May during Google I/O. That being said, Google’s new Pixel devices are not the first to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat, the two Pixel devices that were introduced quite recently actually come with Android 7.1 Nougat, and that variant of Android not only has a number of new features in general, but it also come with some Pixel-exclusive features we’ve already talked about. Having that in mind, Google’s Pixel devices have started shipping to consumers, not to mention that Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview landed for Nexus devices as well. In any case, we’re getting more and more info regarding new features in Android 7.1, well, these are mostly details from the OS itself.
Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at some of those changes, shall we. The latest reports say that Android 7.1 brings more room to the notification panel, and app shortcuts. Android 7.1 Developer Preview brings one extra space in the notification panel, which essentially means you’ll be able to put an extra Quick Settings tile up there for quick access, as you can see in the gallery down below. Now, in addition to that, the arrow for expanding Quick Settings has now been moved next to the settings icon, which made it possible for Google to add that extra Quick Settings tile. Keep in mind that you can still swipe for the second time in order to access expanded Quick Settings, you don’t need to tap the arrow.
Now, the second feature we’ll talk about today is also not exclusive to Pixel devices, as it is a part of the Android 7.1 Developer Preview for Nexus devices. If you’re familiar with the term ‘App Shortcuts’, you probably know what we’re talking about here. This is essentially a way for you to access in-app actions quickly directly from your homescreen / app drawer. All you have to do is long press on a specific app and you’ll get a number of options to select, for example, if you long press on a Google Messenger app, you’ll not only get the ‘New Conversation’ option, but also a way to directly send a message to your recent contacts (well, at least the most recent one). You can also drag a certain quick action from the opened menu to the home screen, if that’s what you want to do. This addition is a part of the Google Now launcher in Android 7.1 Nougat, of course. At the moment, there are around 20 apps that offer such actions, but we’re sure that more and more apps will be added to that list by a number of third-party developers.