Google officially begins the public beta of Android 7.1.2 Nougat today after having announced that the new software version is "on its way" and will be here sometime in the near future. Google is no stranger to releasing their Android software early for a select few supported devices, which are usually their line of Nexus phones and tablets. For Android 7.1.2, Google is starting to push out the software today for those that are enrolled as part of the public beta so that they may receive early access to unfinished software, and they'll be sending it out for users who own the Pixel and Pixel XL, as well as the Pixel C tablet, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X, and the Nexus Player. The builds for all of the listed devices should be made available today while the Nexus 6P build should be "released soon" according to Google's blog post.
While this early build is only available to members who are part of Google's Android Beta Program, the final software should begin hitting devices in the next couple of months if everything goes according to plan and Google is able to stick to their targets. That being said, there is always a little wiggle room for change which is likely why Google has not given a definite answer as to when the update will be released in its final state, and instead chose to give a general time frame of a couple of months from now.
Although it was likely already suspected, the bump from Android 7.1.1 to Android 7.1.2 is not a huge leap, so there won't be any sweeping changes to see. This particular build of software is focused mostly on maintenance and refining the software in its current state, so users can expect a fair amount of bug fixes, as well as some things to optimize the software and user experience. Google also points out that Android 7.1.2 will also include some enhancements for carriers and users, though they don't specifically mention what these enhancements are. For users who aren't already enrolled in the Android Beta Program, signing up is quick and painless and once the process is complete the update will begin to push out to devices in the same time frame as those who were enrolled before today's announcement.