Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Android 7.1 Developer Preview Announced to Be Coming Soon

Based on how things are going now, Android Nougat is full of great new features, but it’s not even available on most phones yet. But that doesn’t stand to mean that Google is slowing down. So in that sense, there will be a few point-releases over the coming months, beginning with Android 7.1. Google just announced the Developer Preview of 7.1 on the Android Developers Blog. It’s not quite available just yet—the blog says it’s coming “later this month.” Along the line Google says it has been working with hardware vendors on 7.1 for some time, but it needs to make sure app developers can test and update their offerings before release.
What’s new in 7.1
Here, some of the nifty stuff you see in the Google Pixel phones is part of Android 7.1, and some of it is exclusive to the Pixel phone (for now). We break down the differences here. Google’s new blog post details a few of the new features and tools developers and users will get in 7.1: For developers, Android 7.1 adds new capabilities to help you drive engagement in your app and deliver an improved user experience, such as:
App shortcuts API — Allows you to surface key actions directly in the launcher and take your users deep into your app instantly. You can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.
Circular app icons support — Enables you to provide great-looking rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.
Enhanced wallpaper metadata — Enables you to provide metadata about your wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. You can show existing metadata such as label, description, and author, as well as a new context URL and title to link to more information. And more, Android 7.1 also adds these much-requested developer features to the platform:
Image keyboard support — This expands the types of content that users can enter from their keyboards, enabling them to express themselves through custom stickers, animated gifs, and more. Apps can tell the keyboard what types of content they accept, and keyboards can deliver all of the images and other content that they offer to the user. For broad compatibility, this API will also be available in the support library.
Storage manager Intent — Enables an app to take the user directly to a new Settings screen to clear unused files and free up storage space on the device. For carriers and calling apps, the platform includes new APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options. Finally, Google’s just-announced that Pixel phones will be shiped with 7.1 on October 20, but it will probably be at least a month or two before it’s available in general release for most Android developers, and surely most phones won’t get updated for months after that. Nexus owners also excepted. Thanks.....

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