Today Google has released the first developer preview for Android 7.1 ─ the latest and greatest version of Android which can be found preloaded on the company’s new Pixel devices.
What’s new? The basics include launcher shortcuts, rounded icons, new gestures, enhanced keyboard functionality, and a handful of UI tweaks, but we’ll have more on that soon. Overall it’s a pretty incremental update ─ which unfortunately lacks Google Assistant ─ but it’s definitely worth a look if you’ve got a compatible device, especially given how easy it is to install.
If you are interested in giving Android 7.1 a shot, there are three ways to install it. Before anything else, you’ll need to be using a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or a Pixel C. Starting next month, Google will open the update up to the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and General Mobile 4G.
- Android Beta Program
The first method to install the preview, and by far the easiest, is to enroll your device in the Android Beta Program. To do this, head over to g.co/androidbeta, sign in with the primary Google account on your device, and click “Enroll Device.” Within a few minutes a system update should be pushed to your device which installs the 7.1 developer preview.
- Flash An OTA
The next method is to flash the update as an OTA. Google provides files to flash an OTA here. To flash the update you’ll need a computer to run a few ADB commands in recovery mode. Google provides full instructions on the download page.
- Install A Factory Image
Tried and true is the method to install the update as a factory image. Google once again provides the files to do this on its developer wesbite, but you’ll need a computer and you’ll also need to factory reset the device. Google also provides instructions on the process here.