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Android 7.1 could ship with new Nexus phones, likely Nougat’s first maintenance release


It was only yesterday that Google announced the rollout of Android 7.0 Nougat, and it was only today that factory images started popping up. Now, the web is already abuzz with speculation about when the next version of Android, presumably Android 7.1, will be released, and what it will bring.

By way of website & app analytics, info from the well-informed David Ruddock, and speculation from guy-who-leaked-the-Nexus-Launcher Nate Benis, it seems that 7.1 might be coming soon — alongside the new Nexus phones — and it might be the first regular maintenance release for Android Nougat…

Let’s start with this Reddit post, in which an app developer — who has chosen to remain anonymous, for whatever reason — notes that 115 of their users are already on Android 7.1. While there’s no way of knowing how big the app is in total, it’s still early to see that many people using an app on an unreleased X.1 version.

Secondly we have Nate Benis, and while his post is speculation at best, we do know for a fact that he somehow got his hands on the system image for one of the upcoming Nexus devices. He leaked the Nexus Launcher early and he confirmed to us himself that he does indeed have someone feeding him info.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, David Ruddock of Android Police came out definitively this afternoon saying that “…the new Nexus phones will launch with Android 7.1, which is now confirmed to be Nougat’s MR1 release.” We don’t know who his sources are of course, but David has a pretty solid track record. I was already convinced that 7.1 is just around the corner, but that seals the deal for me.

Unfortunately, there are still a few things we don’t really know about Android 7.1 and the incoming Nexus phones. We don’t know if the special features and customizations that are coming to the new Nexii will come (even in part) to the older Nexii. And it’s still to be seen if Android 7.1 is going to bring many features at all to the Nexus devices that are currently receiving Android 7.0 over-the-air.


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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.