Android 7.1 was shown off on the Pixel and Pixel XL earlier this month at Google's launch event in San Francisco. Currently, this new version of Android is not available for any smartphone or tablet at all. But that won't be the case much longer. Today, the Android Developers blog posted that the developer preview for Android 7.1 will be debuting later this month. Google says that the preview will initially be available on the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Pixel C, and will extend to other Nexus devices by the end of the preview period. It will likely be available to all devices that currently have Android 7.0 Nougat, although that is not yet confirmed.
Like the Android N developer previews, those in the Android Open Beta will be able to get the developer preview over the air and install it onto their device without much trouble. Google hasn't given us a firm date just yet, for when the developer preview will be available, but it shouldn't be much longer, especially since the month is nearly half over already. On top of that, the Pixel and Pixel XL with Android 7.1 launch on the 20th - or at least that is when they start shipping.
Google does note that this is an incremental update for Android, and not a big one like Android 7.0 was. But they are still urging developers to get started in getting their apps ready to support Android 7.1. Instead of waiting until it releases and users start having all sorts of problems with their apps. Some of the changes to Android 7.1 include Daydream View support. That is the new virtual reality viewer that Google debuted at their hardware event last week. It's coming bundled with the Pixel and Pixel XL pre-orders as well. There is also a new API for app shortcuts in the launcher. So this won't be exclusive to the Pixel smartphones, and will be available to other Nexus devices with Android 7.1. A number of other features will remain exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL, at least for now, however. You can check out Google's full post about the Android 7.1 Developer Preview at the link below.