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(Pocket-lint) - Google has confirmed that it will be running a beta programme for Android 7.1 Nougat starting later in October.

That will come as welcome news for Nexus owners, with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P joining the Pixel C as the first devices to get access to the beta.

The aim of the beta is to enable developers to prepare their apps for the new features that Android 7.1 will offer. It's only an incremental update to Android 7.0 Nougat, but does have a few additional changes, like support for Daydream VR and the new app shortcut feature, which will give you more options from an app icon, a little like Apple's 3D Touch options.

Google has confirmed that other Nexus devices will get access to the beta in the future, so we'd expect the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 to follow on, probably in November. 

The beta programme might make your device unstable or give you some elements that don't quite work properly and if you don't want to take that risk, don't worry: there's good news. 

Google has also said that the final release of Android 7.1.x is due in early December, when it will roll out to all devices - the new Pixel and Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Nexus 9 as well as some Android One devices.

For many, the big thing will be support for Daydream VR, meaning you'll be able to take advantage of the Daydream View headset which launches in November. 

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Remember that you won't be getting all the features that were announced on the Pixel phones - like Google Assistant - because some of these are staying as Pixel exclusives, including the Pixel Launcher. 

For now, Google has said that if you device is enrolled in the beta programme then you're all set to get the Android 7.1 update.

Writing by Chris Hall.