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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: When rotating the screen, the navigation bar doesn't move

Software navigation keys have always worked pretty much identical to physical ones, with one exception. Rotating the device would always cause the navigation bar to move to the right side of the screen. This might not seem like a problem, but if you are flipping your phone clockwise, the nav bar essentially jumps from one side of the phone to the other.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Tapping the security patch date loads the security bulletin in your browser

Google started including the security patch version in the About Phone menu last year in the wake of the Stagefright vulnerability. This is simply a date that tells you which patch level a device runs. As of Android 7.1, that line in the settings is more than just a date. It's also a link to the security bulletins.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: The new system update check denies you cathartic button mashing

We've all done it—a big OTA is rolling out and you want it right this minute. So, you open the OTA update checker in settings and mash the button a few times in an effort to will the update into existence on your phone. It never works, and as of Android 7.1, you can't even go through this pointless ritual anymore. There's a timeout between checks and no button.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Smart Storage helps you make space by deleting old stuff

Even though most devices some with at least 32GB of space these days, there are still plenty of times you run low and need to clear out some junk. In the Android 7.1 dev preview, there's a new storage cleaner that makes it easy to find the old stuff without all that tedious digging around in file managers. It can even automate the process.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: App shortcuts are supported in the Google Now Launcher

There were some interesting features announced as part of the launch of Google's Pixel phones. While some are exclusives to the new handsets, others are a part of the new Android 7.1 Nougat. One of the headlining features for the new OS version is the App Shortcuts API, a way for apps to offer fast access to select screens and functions. If you've been looking forward to trying it out, the Google Now Launcher in combination with today's developer preview fully supports app shortcuts and there's already plenty of examples to try out.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: The notification panel now has room for an extra Quick Settings tile and easier access to Settings

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.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Nexus devices and Pixel C get a restart option in the power menu

People have been asking Google for years to put a restart button into the power menu of Nexus devices. It's a feature most OEMs have been putting on their phones and tablets since the beginning. After first getting a good hint the restart option would appear on the Pixel phones, and actually seeing it appear in a shipping version, many people were left wondering if it would make the transition to older Nexus devices (at least those receiving Android 7.1). The answer appears to be an emphatic yes.

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