The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL are the first devices to run the latest Android 7.1 Nougat update out-of-the-box. At the time of launching these devices, Google did mention that the Developer Preview version would be rolled out for Nexus devices later this month. As promised, Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview is now seeding to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixel C devices via Android Beta Program. Also Read - Now you will have to pay a processing fee for mobile recharges on PhonePeAlso Read - Google cuts Play Store fee to 15 percent for all subscription apps from 2022
While the Pixel smartphones get the final version of Android 7.1, the release for Nexus smartphones is of beta quality. It includes bug fixes and performance improvements along with some new features. One of new changes includes App shortcuts which is similar to Apple s 3D Touch feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. Long pressing on the app icon reveals some quick access app shortcuts. For instance, long pressing on the message icon on homescreen could bring up options such as create new text message, new MMS, or send quick messages to recent contacts. Similarly, long pressing on camera icon could offer options such as take a photo, take a selfie, record a video and more. Google has also released the required API for developers to add shortcuts for their apps. Also Read - Facebook’s new name could be Meta or Horizon, or will it be called FB?
The new update also brings circular icon resources, enhanced live wallpaper metadata, image keyboard support and more, all intended for developers. However, if you are expecting support for Google Assistant, you may be disappointed as it remains exclusive to Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones for now. For now, the Developer Preview update is only for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixel C devices, but the final version is also expected to be rolled out to Nexus 9, Nexus Player and Nexus 6. ALSO READ: Google Assistant: I m feeling lucky includes surprise trivia game for Pixel and Pixel XL owners
How to install Android 7.1 Nougat on your Nexus device
Over-the-Air (OTA): While the program is mainly aimed towards developers, it doesn t stop others from giving Android 7.1 a try. With Android N, Google has made the process of installing the Developer Preview update. You no longer need to unlock the bootloader and flash the update; instead, you can simply enroll for the program and download the update via OTA. For those who had previously installed the Android N Developer Preview on their compatible Nexus-device can head over to Settings > About > Update. And for those who haven t already, can head over to android.com/beta, login with your Google credentials and register your device. Once this is done, the update will be sent to your device as an OTA. ALSO READ: Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL hands-on: The real Google phone is here!
Flash OTA Images: You can also download the OTA images from here and manually install them on your compatible Nexus smartphone. Before you go ahead with the process, ensure that you take a complete backup of your content including text messages, photos, contacts, music and videos. Next, download Minimal ADB and Fastboot from here and double click on the.EXE file to install it. When it asks you to select the directory, create the new one on desktop. Next, download the OTA file from here for your device and paste it in the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder that you created on desktop. Also, rename the file to something easier; say nexus 6p.zip or nexus 5x.zip.
Now, on your smartphone, tap head over to Settings > About Phone > and tap for 7-8 times on Build Number to unlock Developer Options. The go to Settings > About Phone > Developer Options and enable USB Debugging. Put your smartphone in Recovery Mode (turn off the device then press and hold volume down + power button) and connect to PC using data cable.
Run the Minimal ADB and Fastboot from the desktop folder. To see if your device is attached and detected by the PC, type adb devices and if it does not show up, you will have to install the latest Google USB drivers for your smartphone from here. Once your device is connect, you will see a prompt on your smartphone asking to allow USB debugging, just tap on OK.
Next, when everything is setup, start Minimal ADB and Fastboot and type adb sideload <ota-package name> and hit enter. As we earlier renamed it to nexus 6p.zip or nexus 5x.zip, the command you will type for Nexus 5X OTA file would become — adb sideload nexus 5x.zip. If the process goes right, the update will be installed and your smartphone will reboot to the latest Android 7.1 Update.
Disclaimer: This is a beta software and could brick your device rendering it useless. Proceed at your own risk.