Everything you need to know about Android 7.0 Nougat

Android Nougat 7.1.2 beta adds fingerprint gestures to the Nexus 5X

Google Pixel phone
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
It’s been a few months since Android 7.0 Nougat dropped, but Google has already released Android 7.1.1 and a beta of 7.1.2.

The Android 7.1.2 update will not come to the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, as those devices have run their course of Android version updates. They will continue to receive Android security updates for another year. wHere’s everything you need to know.

Android 7.1.2

As the name suggests, Android 7.1.2 is an incremental update that mostly focuses on “refinements, so it includes a number of bug fixes and optimizations,” according to the Android Developer Dashboard. The beta update is currently available to enrolled Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices. If you want to sign up for the beta, you can enroll here.

One of the silent features introduced in 7.1.2 is fingerprint gestures — a Pixel feature that seems to have made its way to the Nexus 5X. Some Nexus 5X owners on the Android subreddit of Reddit claim they are able to toggle fingerprint gestures on in Settings.

The update will also make its way to the Nexus 6P soon, which will likely introduce fingerprint gestures as well. The Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 will not receive the update, as they are past the two-year support window.

Android 7.1.1

extended-screenshot

Quite a few new features were introduced in the Android 7.1.1 update.image-keyboard-7002

Notably, App Shortcuts are back. The feature, introduced during the Android Nougat beta program, was briefly scrapped, but it’s returned in fully functional form. App Shortcuts mimic the 3D Touch features introduced in iOS 9 — press and hold an app icon and you’ll get a list of specific actions. The Pixel Launcher, the default home screen on Pixel smartphones, supports the feature, and third-party app developers will be able tap in on smartphones running Android 7.1.1. Apps can have up to five shortcuts, according to the Android Developers website.

In other news, a restart setting has joined Android’s power menu. Now, when you press and hold the power button on the Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, you will have the option of power cycling the phone instead of switching it off.

A new Moves menu in Android’s Settings menu includes a number of actions that can be initiated by gesture. You can launch the camera by pressing the power button twice, switch in and out of selfie mode by double-twisting your wrist when you are in the app, and lift your phone to quickly check your notifications.

Image Keyboard, another new feature, lets you choose and send content like stickers, emojis, GIFs, and pictures from your messaging app of choice. It’s supported within Google’s Allo, Hangouts, and Messenger, apps for now, with third-party support “on the way.”

Android 7.1.1 includes a brand-new camera app. Among the features are white balance presets, exposure compensation, Automatic Exposure and Automatic Focus locking, and viewfinder grid modes. Another, Smart Burst, takes multiple photos and selects the best one.

Smart Storage automatically removes old backed-up photos and videos from your device to clear up space. They’re backed up to Photos, Google’s picture-centric cloud storage service.

Among the emoji, speaking of, are 100 additions approved by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, the industry consortium that oversees the approval of new keyboard characters.

“Earlier this year, we announced a proposal to promote gender equality by adding new emoji that reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world, and represent a wider range of professions for both women and men,” Google wrote in a blog post. “We included gender counterparts for emoji that previously only had male or female representation.”

The new emoji collection comprises 11 new professions available in both genders and various skin tones and ethnicities, and new female and male versions of 33 existing emoji.

A lead Pixel engineer tweeted that the devices have improved touch latency — which is also confirmed in the changelog. In plain English, that means the time it takes for your smartphone screen to respond to your finger should be much less. That’ll have the effect of improving responsiveness.

extended-screenshot-2

The method by which Android updates are installed is new, too. Phones will upgrade much like Chromebooks: updates will install in the background automatically, on a separate partition. When the device restarts, it’ll swaps partitions with the updated version — effectively performing the upgrade right under your nose.

Also in tow with Android 7.1.1 is Daydream VR, Google’s virtual reality platform. Circular app icons like the ones on the Pixel smartphones make an appearance, too.

Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Mobile

Google Maps is available on Apple CarPlay with iOS 12

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The new OS comes along with tons of new capabilities from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts, here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Dozens of bite-sized features add up to a feast in Android 9.0 Pie

Google’s latest version of Android is here, and it’s called Android 9 Pie. We’ve been using it for the past few months on a Google Pixel to see how this flavor stacks up.
Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 smartphone may arrive dressed in pink

Forget the Pixel 2: Google will announce its latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, on October 9 in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The Apple Watch Series 4 is now available -- here's where to buy it

The new Apple Watch Series 4 is here. Besides the Apple store, the company's next-generation smartwatch is be available for purchase through all four major carriers. Here's where you can get yours.
Mobile

Huawei is not-so-subtly trolling Friday’s iPhone launch

Apple launches the iPhone XS range to the public on Friday, but Huawei is out in force to remind the public what they could be missing out on (Hint: It's the Mate 20 Pro) by choosing Apple's latest smartphone.
Mobile

Audio company Bragi is suing OnePlus over the word 'dash'

Despite taking steps to change to "Warp Charge," OnePlus is being sued by audio company Bragi over the phone manufacturer's continued use of the word "dash" in the Dash Charging used in OnePlus phones.
Mobile

How to buy the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in the U.K.

The new iPhone range is here, and it consists of three models: The iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. You can buy the iPhone XS and XS Max in the United Kingdom now, so here's our guide on where to buy one.
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Mobile

The best weather apps for Android will keep you dry no matter where you go

You may not be able to change the weather, but you can at least be prepared for it. Check out our guide to the best weather apps for Android, so you'll always know what to expect when you step out the front door.
Mobile

Android 9.0 Pie is finally rolling out to the OnePlus 6

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

Keep the iPhone XS display crack-free with these screen protectors

Apple might have proclaimed the iPhone XS's glass as being its most durable ever, but that's not going to stop you from wincing if you drop your phone. Stay protected with the best iPhone XS screen protectors.
Mobile

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans

Anyone seeking a great new smartphone with plenty of money to spend has two amazing options, but which is better for you? We pit the Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro in various categories to help you choose.
Product Review

Don't let the bigger iPhones woo you away: The XS is still a masterpiece

Apple’s next smartphone is here -- the iPhone XS. We think it’s the perfect size for an iPhone, and it manages to impress with astounding performance, and sizable camera improvements.
1 of 2