Google is changing the way it’s handling Android updates (it’s high time it did, we might add) byintroducing Maintenance Releases (MR).
These patches will include bug fixes and tweaks, and we can speculate that Google could use the opportunity to add certain new features or change the behavior of existing ones. The first MR for Android 7.0 Nougat is expected this fall, and more will follow on a quarterly basis.
We don’t know yet whether MR will bump up the version number. In other words, will MR1 be called Android 7.0.1, Android 7.1, or something else entirely?
We have some flimsy evidence that points to Android 7.1. One clue is a section in the Android Developer Console (first spotted by Android Police) that includes a mention of Android 7.1.