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The Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview 1 just came out for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Pixel C, and we're already seeing quite a few improvements over 7.0 Nougat. Some of the most noticeable changes are in the notification panel; not only are there now six mini Quick Settings toggles, but Settings is easier to get to.
left: 7.0 Nougat on a Nexus 6P. right: 7.1 DP1 on a Nexus 5X.
Google has opted to add a sixth Quick Settings toggle and move the arrow that was formerly in that location to the same row that the time and date are on. In the process of doing this, the Quick Settings panel becomes a little larger, but that makes it look a bit cleaner as well.
The Settings shortcut that formerly required an additional swipe has also been moved to the top row, to the left of the arrow. As someone who frequently uses that shortcut to navigate to Settings, I definitely find this a welcome change. An extra swipe may not sound like much to complain about (first world problems much?), but any added efficiency is pleasant to see.
On the whole, I feel that these changes not only make the notification panel's design visually more attractive, but also more functional. And isn't that the best type of design?