What's New In Android Nougat 7.1 (beta preview)

Android Nougat has been rolled out over the past few weeks to compatible Nexus devices, and with Nougat 7.1 being rumoured to add most of the features that the Pixel phones will have, you can imagine how excited die-hard Nexus fans were when they received the preview update last night.
Android Nougat 7.1 is here, or at least in the form of a beta. Nexus users who are a part of the android beta programme have been treated to an early preview of the upcoming android 7.1 update.
As a beta tester, I have the ability to be able to get a glimpse of what is to come when the final build is released in December.

Performance and battery:

Upon first glance, the design doesn't look all that different. Considering the update is around 1200MB, it is currently seeming like a lot of wasted space. But under the hood is where most of the improvements take place. 

There are some very noticeable differences with the performance and battery life, both of which are very welcome changes. 

The performance is now much improved from android 7.0, and the ram management is now a lot better. My average usage for ram has gone from being 2.3GB in 7.0, to being 1.7GB in 7.1 . And the battery has some very welcome improvements. Upon the first day of being on 7.1, I can safely say I am getting 1-2 hours more screen on time compared to 7.0.

Visible changes (UI):

There are quite a few visible changes to the android OS, chief among which is the new shortcut menu when you long press on a specific app.

This allows you to do tasks that would normally have to be done within the app, but instead you can perform these actions from the home screen.
The apps that are currently supported for this feature are:

  • Clock
  • Camera
  • Play books
  • Play music
  • Play movies and TV
  • Gmail
  • Photos
  • Messenger
  • Chrome
  • Maps
  • Dialer
  • Contacts
  • YouTube 
  • Drive 

(And potentially more, which I haven't yet discovered)

Another change in the looks, is a somewhat welcome change in the shortcuts bar, which now allows for 6 icons, rather than the original 5. 

Another change, which was spotted at the pixel phone showcase, is the edit button for the quick settings page, is now placed at the top next to the settings icon, rather than original placing which was the bottom right of that page. 

Another change, this one is a very useful change, is the addition of the support tab to the settings app. This means you will now be able to chat with a member of the Google support team almost instantly and enquire about and report issues. This service is open to Nexus users between the times of:

Monday-Friday: 8am - 8pm

Saturday-Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Of course though, if you are a pixel phone user, this service is open 24/7.

There are many other minor tweaks to the UI, which are not particularly important to the functionality of the device, and most of these involve some text being placed in a slightly different position. 


Overall then, the build seems pretty stable at the moment, with only the odd bug, which is completely expected for a beta. No completely phone ruining bugs have been found so far, and hopefully that will stay the case. The overall performance of my Nexus 6P has improved since the update. Many apps now load a lot faster and no longer lag at all or as much as they used to in 7.0 (Snapchat no longer lags when switching pages). As mentioned earlier, my battery life has increased by about 1-2 hours, and that is with normal usage (Facebook, messenger, YouTube etc.). So, if you are a member of the android beta programme and are pondering on whether or not to update to Nougat 7.1, i say that you should go for it.

If you are interested in joining the android beta programme, click here.

Please be aware that this was tested with a Nexus 6P, your experience may not be the same. Even though you may be using the same device, this does not mean that all the features will work.

Kailash Sudhakar
An engineering undergrad student who loves all things tech. He has a soft spot for Android.
What's New In Android Nougat 7.1 (beta preview) What's New In Android Nougat 7.1 (beta preview) Reviewed by Unknown on 10/22/2016 03:33:00 AM
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