Back on October 11th Google announced that in the near future, they would begin pushing out the developer preview software for Android 7.1 Nougat for the most recent Nexus devices. At that same time, Google also broke down some of the new changes and features that could be expected in the upcoming dev preview, and now the software is just starting to make its way to users' handsets as Google has just made the dev preview available for download and installation. Of course, to install the dev preview you will need to have a compatible Nexus device, which at this point in time includes the Nexus 5X, the Nexus 6P, and the Pixel C tablet.
As Android 7.1 Nougat only comes running on the Pixel and the Pixel XL right now out of the box, this gives those using last year's Nexus and Pixel devices a chance to check the software out before perhaps making the jump to a new phone. While this is one way of looking at it from a consumer standpoint, it also gives app and game developers a chance to test out the software with their apps and work towards making their apps compatible with the new software version so it's ready once Google pushes it out officially.
While users will be able to grab the OTA images and Factory Image from the buttons below to flash to their devices if they wish to do so, the Dev Preview will also be pushed out to devices over the air giving uses another method of applying the new software, so long as they're enrolled in the Android Beta Program, which should cause the update to be sent out automatically. Update SDK and tools have also been made available for the new version of the dev preview if developers or tinkerers want get their hands on it. As a recap of what the dev preview will offer those with a compatible device, it includes things like the native app shortcuts, as well as the new circular icons and enhanced wallpaper data. Along with the first round of the Android 7.1 dev preview that is available now, Google plans to put out a second build next month with a planned public launch the month after.