About a month ago a rumor explored the possibility that Google’s then-upcoming Pixel phones would be powered by a slightly newer version of Android Nougat, specifically Android 7.1. Sure enough, both the Google Pixel and Pixel XL have been unveiled today and both smartphones will be launched with Android 7.1 (Nougat) out of the box later this month. Let’s take a look at what the new OS version has in store for future Pixel owners and otherwise.
The new Google Pixel smartphones will hit the shelves with a new version of Android pre-installed, and although some of the additions in Android 7.1 Nougat will be reserved for the Pixel smartphones, other features will also become available to other smartphones once they receive a bump to Android 7.1. As far as the Pixel smartphones are concerned, Android 7.1 Nougat will introduce the new Google Assistant which has been improved with new machine-learning capabilities (it’s basically smarter, faster, and can do more things than ever before), a new version of Google’s launcher, and new Smart Storage features that allow the system to automatically remove photos and videos that have already been backed up in order to clear up local storage whenever it’s full. Speaking of which, with Android 7.1 Nougat on-board, Pixel owners will have unlimited storage for photos and videos to Google Photos, and files can be backed up in their original quality. Furthermore, Pixel owners will have access to Google support 27/7 either through phone calls or via text messages, and last but not least, several cosmetic changes have been included, such as additional system theme options and unique navbar icons.
Although the features mentioned above will apparently be reserved only to Pixel and Pixel XL owners, Android 7.1 Nougat will also introduce a number of additions to non-Pixel handsets. This includes support for Google’s new mobile virtual reality platform Daydream, support for fingerprint scanner gestures, touchscreen improvements, and the inclusion of a “Night Light” option which will allow screens to change color settings automatically during night time in order to offer a more comfortable reading / viewing experience. It’s unknown when Android 7.1 Nougat will be launched to the masses, but the OS version will debut on the new Pixel smartphones before the end of the month.