The Android Beta program gives enthusiastic Nexus users a chance to try out the latest version of Android before it hits the general public. Started during the release of Marshmallow, today it pushes out beta builds of the latest version for the Nexus 5X, 6P, Pixel and Android One devices. However, using the bleeding edge will result in a few bugs and one must be aware of that.
Google release the Android 7.1 Dev Preview 2 on November and Beta Testers hadn’t seen anything else since then. Although performance was reported to be smooth, users were stuck in the November Security Patch. The Stable version of 7.1.1 OTA was pushed to non-beta testers and the others were seemingly left hanging.
According to many Nexus 5X and 6P beta testers, Google is finally pushing out a new update with file sizes coming to 65.1MB and 26MB respectively.
Installing the Update
If you have not received a notification regarding the update yet, you can try force checking for updates. This can be done by going to Settings, About Phone, System Updates. Do not fret if you do not see an update available yet, as Google rolls out updates batchwise to users. This makes sure the update process goes on smoothly and bugs are caught beforehand, if any.
After downloading, the update reboots the device twice, which odd as it usually takes a single reboot to finish up the updates. Nevertheless, the update installs quickly and bumps the build number to December’s NMF26F. This build also includes the latest December Security Patches.
Android 7.1.1 improves upon the 7.0 by adding long-pressed shortcuts to the home screen. This brings up contextual options for the app, which can be used to launch a specific activity. For example, pressing and holding a music player’s icon will bring up options to immediately shuffle music, or start a random playlist.
Android 7.1.1 also includes a new camera app with new features like white balance presets, grid modes and much more. Smart Burst mode takes multiple photos in a short span of time, and selects the best one.
The Emoji collection has also seen over 100 new additions which are approved by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. This Subcommittee overseas the approval of new keyboard characters
Along with a whole slew of performance improvements, Android 7.1.1 also includes support for Daydream VR, Google’s VR platform.