Android 7.1 Changes: Exploring the Latest Update

Android 7.1 Changes: Exploring the Latest Update

Google recently unveiled its Pixel devices at the “Made by Google” event, showcasing impressive new smartphones equipped with Android 7.1 Nougat and exclusive Pixel features. Fortunately, Nexus devices (5X, 6P, and Pixel C) can now experience the latest Android update through Google’s release of the Android 7.1 Developer Preview. Despite being a beta release, it introduces significant changes. Curious about what Android 7.1 offers? Let’s delve into it:

1. UI Enhancements

Android 7.1 introduces subtle UI changes, notably in Quick Settings. The Quick Settings panel, updated in Android 7.0, now displays 6 shortcuts instead of 5, with an added Settings shortcut. The “Edit” button has been relocated to the top as an icon.

Additionally, the call interface receives a new transparent and colorful design, while the dialer remains unchanged from Nougat and Marshmallow.

The system update page UI has been revamped with more colors and a modern appearance, showcasing the current Android version and security patch level.

The sound and volume panel now features text above icons, and the Contacts app includes a hamburger menu with various Google accounts, eliminating duplicates and labels.

2. App Shortcuts

Following Apple’s lead, Android 7.1 introduces app shortcuts, akin to iOS app icons with 3D Touch. In Android 7.1, simply press and hold an icon to access various shortcuts. You can also create homescreen icons for quick access. For example, Chrome offers shortcuts to open a new tab or incognito tab. Initially, only first-party Google apps support shortcuts, but third-party apps are expected to follow suit.

2. Google Support

The Android 7.1 update introduces Google Support to devices. In the Settings page, there’s a new Support tab with links to Android tips & tricks, search & help feedback, and the option to request a support call. This addition is handy, as Google has struggled to match Apple in OS and hardware support.

Android 7.1 Changes: Exploring the Latest Update

3. New Power Menu

Google has reinstated the “Restart” option in the Power menu, fulfilling a long-standing request. Additionally, the updated Power menu in Android 7.1 includes an “Emergency” option for quick dialing of emergency numbers.

4. Moves

A fresh addition, the “Moves” option now graces the Settings page of Android 7.1. It enables users to activate the camera with a double press of the power/lock button, swiftly switch between front and rear cameras with a double twist, and conveniently view notifications by lifting the phone. While these gestures are indeed innovative, they’ve been part of Android’s repertoire for some time. Many users were anticipating the integration of the “fingerprint scroll” feature found on Pixel devices.

5. Image Keyboard

GIFs and GIF keyboard apps are trending, and Google now supports GIFs in its Google Keyboard on Android 7.1. In the emoji section, you’ll find a GIF button to access various GIFs based on different moods and for searching. Pretty cool, right?

6. Performance Improvements

Android 7.1 brings significant under-the-hood changes. Touch responsiveness has improved, and update installation is smoother. Now, a progress bar indicates installation progress, eliminating the “optimizing apps” screen.

Android 7.1: A Minor Update With Decent Changes

These are the alterations Android 7.1 introduces, and though relatively minor, they are significant. Given its status as a developer preview, anticipate further updates bringing more changes. We’ll keep this article updated accordingly.

Share your thoughts on the Android 7.1 update in the comments below.