Just a couple days over a month since the first Android 7.1 Developer Preview was released, we now have Developer Preview 2 available for Nexus phones and tablets to get a near-final taste of the latest software. Those who have enrolled in the Android Beta Program for their compatible device — which now includes the Nexus 9 — will receive Developer Preview 2 this week via an OTA update.
Whereas Google considered the first Android 7.1 Developer Preview to be a beta-level release, this second preview is a release candidate for the build of Android 7.1.1 it intends to release to the public. The system and interface is "near-final" with the latest bug fixes and optimizations.
Stable Android 7.1.1 updates will arrive in a matter of weeks.
For app developers (which is who this is really for), they can continue use this software to develop their apps that target API level 25 in order to have them ready to go for when the software expands its reach. Google is updating the platform tools inside Android Studio to help the transition.
The release of Developer Preview 2 shows that Google is on schedule to release the complete version of Android 7.1 in early December, at which time any manufacturer will be able to use it on their own phones and tablets. When the software is finished, all supported devices — including the latest Pixel and Pixel XL — will get Android 7.1.1 updates.