Google has announced the Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview will be released for select compatible devices by the end of this month. After unveiling the new Android version for its Pixel smartphones at the Made by Google Event, the tech giant has now confirmed the preview will arrive for select Nexus devices before the end of October.
The Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview is initially coming only for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices. Google does confirm that other devices will get to use the preview by the end of developer preview cycle, but did not provide any release timeline for them. Furthermore, it even confirmed that the Android 7.1 Nougat final build will hit all Google-supported Android 7.0 devices in early December. This means Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus 9 LTE, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and supported Android One devices will get the final Android 7.1 Nougat update.
Google did promise an Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview for compatible devices before the end of 2016, and this announcement falls in line with that assurance. The Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview should bring some significant improvements, the most notable ones being introduction of support for Daydream View VR headset and image keyboard. The latter means that Android users will now be able to freely send gifs through the keyboard, rather than copy pasting links or other roundabout methods.
This first maintenance update comes just two months after the first Android 7.0 Nougat commercial release. Other changes it brings include A/B system updates, night-light, circular app icons, a manual storage manager, and app shortcuts, apart from exclusive features for Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.
Google is expected to release such maintenance updates quarterly moving forward. Google even confirmed the death of Nexus series recently, and is no longer going to produce any Nexus devices in the future. But it did assure continued software support to existing devices. The Android 7.0 Nougat update was also released to all Nexus devices except Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE users, who received the update weeks later.
It's worth noting that only the developer preview is expected to release this month, and only devices registered on the Android Beta Program will get the update. If you wish to receive beta updates from the Android team, register your supported device here.