The Android 7.1 developer preview is now available

You won't get the Google Assistant, but you'll be able to try out app shortcuts and that round icon design.

android 7.1 beta
Credit: Android Developers Blog

Google delivered Thursday on a promise to make Android 7.1 available for those willing to try out the beta software.

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview offers many of the goodies found in the Pixel, though of course the Google Assistant remains exclusive to the company’s new flagship phone.

You can enroll a Nexus 6P, 5X, 6, 9, Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G at the Android Beta site now. You’ll then get an update notification right away to download the new version. Currently, the beta is only available for the 5X, 6P, and Pixel C. The other hardware will be added to the beta in the future.

Anytime you want to unenroll, you can remove your device from the preview by heading back to the site. Just be aware that’ll restore your phone, tablet, or Android TV player to factory settings. There are several good features worth checking out, such as app shortcuts and those new circular app icons.

Google is targeting a final public release for December with several updates in-between. A developer preview for non-Google devices is planned for November, although hardware manufacturers will have to participate in order for you to check it out for your own device.

Why this matters: Some Nexus fans were bummed out by the Pixel, so perhaps this will give a little assurance that Google isn’t completely abandoning the existing hardware. Pixel is the cool kid now, so expect Google to continue innovating with hardware and software integration that you won’t always be able to get on other Android phones and tablets.

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