Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering
A couple of weeks ago we announced that a developer preview of Android 7.1 Nougat was on the way. You can get started with this new release today by downloading the SDK and tools. To get the 7.1 release on your eligible device, enroll your device in the Android Beta program. If your device is already enrolled, you’ll receive the update automatically.
What’s in the Developer Preview?
The Android 7.1 Developer Preview gives you everything you need to test your app on the new platform or extend it with new features like app shortcuts and image keyboard support. It includes an updated SDK and tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported devices.
We’re continuing the model we used in N and earlier releases, and with Android 7.1 being an incremental release there are a few differences to highlight:
- Since 7.1 has already launched on Pixel, we’re delivering the initial Developer Preview at beta quality for the Nexus lineup of devices. The goal is to tease out any device-specific issues.
- We’ve finalized the new APIs as API Level 25
- We’ve opened up publishing on Google Play for apps targeting the new API level, so you can update your apps soon as you are ready.
After the initial preview release, we plan to deliver an update in November followed by the final public release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in December. Initially available on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, we’ll extend the Developer Preview to other devices in November.
Get your apps ready for Android 7.1
To get started, update to Android Studio 2.2.2 and download API Level 25 platform, emulator system images and tools. The final API Level 25 SDK is available for download through the SDK Manager in Android Studio.
Once you’ve installed the API Level 25 SDK, you can update your project’s
compileSdkVersion to 25 to build and test against the new APIs. If you’re doing compatibility testing, we recommend updating your app’s
targetSdkVersion to 25 to test your app with compatibility behaviors disabled. For details on how to set up your app with the API Level 25 SDK, see Set up the Preview.
If you’re adding app shortcuts or circular launcher icons to your app, you can use Android Studio’s built-in Image Asset Studio to quickly help you create icons of different sizes that meet the material design guidelines.
The Google APIs Emulator System images shipped with the Android API Level 25 SDK include support for round icons and the new Google Pixel Launcher. The Google API system image allows you to test how your app’s circular app icons look in devices that support circular icons. Also, if you are developing live wallpapers, you can also use the the new system images with the Android Emulator to test the enhanced preview metadata in Android 7.1.
To help you add image keyboard support, you can use the Messenger and Google Keyboard apps included in the preview system images for testing as they include support for this new API.
Along with the API Level 25 SDK, we have also updated the Android Support Library to 25.0.0. The new version lets you add image keyboard support with compatibility back to API level 13. It also introduces BottomNavigationView widget, which implements the bottom navigation pattern from the material design guidelines.
For details on API Level 25 check out the API diffs and the updated API reference on the developer preview site.
You can use the Android Emulator in Android Studio to test your circular app icons & shortcuts in a launcher
You can use the Image Asset tool to quickly create circular icon assets.
Publish your apps to alpha, beta or production channels in Google Play
Since the Android 7.1 APIs are final, you can publish updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 25 to Google Play. You can now publish app updates that use API 25 to your alpha, beta, or even production channels in the Google Play Developer Console. In this way, push your app updates to users whose devices are running Android 7.1, such as Pixel and Android Beta devices.
How to Get Android 7.1 Developer Preview on Your Eligible Device
If you are already enrolled in the Android Beta program, then your eligible enrolled devices will get the Android 7.1 Developer Preview update right away, no action is needed on your part. If you aren’t yet enrolled in Android Beta, the easiest way to get started is to visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet — you’ll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air. If you have an enrolled device and do not want to receive the update, just visit Android Beta and unenroll the device. You can also download and flash this update manually.
We welcome your feedback in the Developer Preview issue tracker, N Preview Developer community, or Android Beta community as we work towards the consumer release in December!