After surprising us with an early release of the seventh iteration of the most-widely used mobile operating system in March, Google is finally taking the wraps off Android Nougat for all Nexus users. Starting today, Android 7.0 is now out of beta and should be available to download over-the-air on Google’s own Nexus device line-up, including the Pixel C soon enough.
It doesn’t matter if you’re already using the developer beta or not, you’re expected to receive the update notification in the coming weeks. As pointed out by a Google spokesperson, it is a relatively slow rollout, starting with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One). While, the first smartphone to ship with Nougat on-board will be the LG V20.
Google is now showing off the key features of the upcoming software update. And mind you, this is just a brief overview of top features from over 250 major features that have introduced in this overhaul. The first few changes that you’re expected to notice when you boot up your phone are:
Android, since its inception, has been all about handing over more control and power to the users. With Nougat’s release, Android is adding the quick setting controls in the form of a bar in the notification shade.You can now also choose a particular position for a quick setting and move it around to the position you desire.
Talking about notifications, Android Nougat now makes the notifications seem to have received a plastic surgery, updated with Material design and all. They are now more condensed, but allow you to take an action for most services, like replying to a message or archiving an email.
In addition to these, Google is also providing you with an expanded emoji and multi-locale support on your Android device. You now have the option to choose over 1,500 emojis and see results in multiple languages depending on your locales.
With Nougat, multi-tasking is just a button or a tap away. Literally! In this year’s Android release, Google is adding some primary and much-awaited multi-tasking features to the software, and these include:
- Multi-window support: Nougat allows you to run two apps side-by-side(or in split screen), wherein the window is resizable and can be adjusted by sliding the divider between the two open apps. To open two apps simultaneously, you open the first app and tap the multi-tasking button. Then press and hold on the colored bar above the app you want to set as the second one, and drag it to one half or the other.
- Quick Switch: This is one of those features that may go unnoticed by most, but is one of the most impressive features added in Nougat. As the heading suggest, you have the option to switch between two of the most recently opened apps. And how? Simply by double-tapping the multi-tasking button.
As we’ve heard time and time again, this decade is the era of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and much more. So, Nougat has also made the software more immersive with the introduction of support for — VulkanTM (an advanced 3D rendering API) and Daydream (Google’s platform for mobile virtual reality).
Vulkan will help improve your gaming as well as the overall mobile experience, with the use of high-speed, next-generation graphics — all powered by your device’s multi-core processor, says Google. While Daydream, if you’re unaware, is Google’s latest attempt at making every device VR ready. And Nougat has support for Daydream-ready headsets and controllers built into it.
With the advent increase in cyber-security threats, Google has like always always bulked up Android’s security features. With Nougat, it has added new features like Seamless updates, File-based encryption and and Direct Boot.
- Seamless Updates: New Android devices will be packed with the ability to install software updates in the background, so that you don’t have to wait around for it install anymore. The software has now also been upgraded to remove the redundant ‘optimizing apps’ pop-up after each update. Also, Google belives that the updates will install faster on Nexus devices.
- File-based encryption: Instead of encrypting the whole disk, individual users will now have the option to better isolate and protect files on their devices.
- Direct Boot: It helps your device startup faster, and apps run securely even before you unlock your device when your device reboots. While more security features have been added for those who use their Android smartphones at work.
As Google rolls out another new iteration of its Android operating system, the only thing left to take control of remains is its fragmented ecosystem. While i gloat and wait for the Marshmallow update on my Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, you Nexus users can go ahead and start using the Nougat update today!