Google Android 7.1.1 Developer Preview 2 comes before December's final update

android 711 developer preview 2 google pixel bestof
It seems like only yesterday that search giant Google was rolling out an Android Developer Preview to participants in its Android beta program. In fact, it was nearly a month ago in October. Like clockwork, the Mountain View, California-based company is letting loose a new release: the Android 7.1.1 Developer Preview 2.

Android 7.1.1 Developer Preview 2 follows on the heels of Developer Preview 1, which launched for the Nexus 5X, 6P, and Pixel C on October 19. It brought in tow nifty features like App Shortcuts, which mimic the 3D Touch features in Apple’s iOS 9 (you press and hold an app icon to quickly jump into specific actions), and a new restart setting. A Moves menu introduced the ability to launch apps with gestures. And Image Keyboard added support for like stickers, GIFs, and more in the native Android keyboard, including the more than 100 additions the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee approved in July.

The new preview isn’t quite as momentous. It includes “near-final” features and user interfaces, miscellaneous bug fixes, and “optimizations” across the system and Google’s suite of apps. On the programming side, Developer Preview 2 includes an update to Android’s software development kit in Android Studio, Google’s app programming environment. And it makes available the latest version of Android’s support library (25.0.1), the collection of tools that let developers generate circular icons, add keyboard images, and more.

Those enrolled in Android’s beta program will receive Developer Preview 2 as an automatic over-the-air update. Alternatively, system images are available for manual installation on the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, and Nexus 9. Google’s timeline for the developer preview indicated that the Nexus 6 and Nexus Player would receive an update to the second developer preview, but they have since been removed from the list.

Luckily, it will not be long before a finalized Android 7.1.1 begins rolling out to supported devices — Google said Developer Preview 2 will be the last release before the finished version debuts. “Starting in December, we’ll roll out Android 7.1.1 to the full lineup of supported preview devices, as well as the recently launched Pixel and Pixel XL devices,” Google wrote. “At that time, we’ll also push the sources to AOSP, so our device manufacturer partners can bring this new platform update to consumers on their devices.”

The list of supported devices includes the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9, and Pixel C, Pixel, and Pixel XL.

Google is also rolling out an unrelated update (with build number NPF26J) to Pixel devices on Canadian carriers. It includes bug fixes and security enhancements, but new features in addition: two new gestures, “double-tap to check phone” and “lift to check phone.” Here’s a video of the two new features in action.

The former signals the return of a feature that leaked prior to the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL, but which failed to materialize in the devices’ launch firmware.

Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.
Mobile

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Smart Home

Google Home Hub smart display will reportedly be renamed the Google Nest Hub

Insiders reportedly familiar with Google's plans confirmed the Google Home Hub will be rebranded Google Nest Hub. Citing accidental leaks in the Google Store about the Nest Home Max, informed sources suggest a May 7 launch date.
Trash

How to save yourself money by buying a refurbished iPhone

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a new iPhone, and it can be very expensive. Save yourself some heartache and some money with our guide on how to buy a refurbished iPhone.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Mobile

BlackBerry Messenger to shut down in May, be replaced by enterprise version

BlackBerry Messenger for consumers will shut down at the end of May, nearly six years after it was launched. The app is going back to its roots, in a way, as it is being replaced by the much simpler BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise.
Deals

Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 smartwatches get big price cuts

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 are at some of the lowest prices we've seen since so far this year. With discounts from Amazon and Walmart, now is a great time to find spring savings on wearables.
Mobile

These are the key settings to change on the LG G8 ThinQ smartphone

The LG G8 ThinQ is finally available. There are a lot of settings turned off by default that may be useful in improving the experience of using the phone. We've rounded up 11 key settings for you to change on the G8.
Mobile

LG reportedly files patent for triple selfie camera on smartphone

LG has reportedly filed a patent for a smartphone with three front-facing cameras. However, if the patent turns out to be true, it may come down as just another gimmick for the struggling mobile phone manufacturer.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Mobile

Samsung says the Galaxy Fold needs more improvements before it's released

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Add style and functionality with the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases

No tablet should be without protection, especially an expensive one. Check out our picks for the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases, so you can add some protection, functionality, and style to your new device.