Google releases Android 7.1 alongside its Pixel phone

— 3:52 PM on October 4, 2016

Google's release of its first home-designed smartphone is making a few waves around the internet. A few journalists at today's Google event tried out the Pixel handset and came away fairly impressed. They also noticed an interesting detail: the Pixel is running Android 7.1. According to a report by The Verge, this marks the official announcement of the new version of Android.

The Pixel phones have unique features like a 24/7 support assistant and free unlimited photo upload capability. The Verge says that many new features in Android 7.1 should nevertheless be available for mass consumption on supported handsets. The site claims that non-Pixel devices will get Night Light (automatic screen white point adjustment à la iOS Night Shift), support for Daydream VR on compatible devices, new fingerprint scanner gestures, "touch and display improvements," and "developer-focused enchancements," which we take to mean API updates.

The Verge didn't specify which Google devices will be able to enjoy the new flavor of Nougat, but we'd hazard a guess the list is still "Nexus 5X and newer." Knowing Google's speedy update history, those devices should receive a system update in short order. As for existing Android handsets from other manufacturers, we estimate the update will arrive roughly when porcine creatures sprout airflow-based flight appendages.

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