With Android 7.0 Nougat now rolling out to current nexus devices, Google also brings news about a new developer preview that will be arriving to Nexus devices in the future.
A post from the Android Developers blog reads: “We’re moving Nougat into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters. In fact, we’ve already started work on the first Nougat maintenance release, that will bring continued refinements and polish, and we’re planning to bring that to you this fall as a developer preview. Stay tuned!” – Dave Burke, Engineering VP.
If the timing of the developer preview release is before the release of new Nexus phones, we could assume to expect Nexus phones to launch with Android 7.1. This isn’t something Google has done with Nexus devices of the past, so we are just speculating here.
It looks like Android will be continuing a path for the Android Beta program, offering Android users the option to opt-in and receive OTA updates with unreleased features much like iOS does with how it distributes its Public Beta builds.
The Android Beta Program must have a pilot for a new era of earlier updates with experimental features. Google has seen the potential of a seamless OTA delivery system for developer previews. The invaluable feedback from users helped to release the Android Nougat release so much quicker than previous releases. Although, Nougat is arguably ‘just a refinement’ of Android Marshmallow.
Google has gotten into the groove of software updates and we are excited to see what updated with Direct Boot will be like with the new Nexus hardware (updates that only require a simple restart). For now, Google will continue to call these builds “developer previews”.