If you want the latest and greatest version of Android on your smartphone, then buy a Nexus. Google just announced the release of the final version of Android 7.0 Nougat, and I’m looking forward to tasting the goodness on the Google Nexus 6P.
Android N was unveiled at Google I/O in May, and the Nougat name was revealed in June. Public betas were released for Nexus devices, but today, we see the full release for these same Nexus devices.
The rumors were true and the Android 7.0 Nougat release date was indeed August 22. Praise be to Duarte! The Android Nougat update will roll out to supported Nexus devices today. Until we can flash images and get into the nuts and bolts of what the latest version of Android has in store, all we’ve got to go on is the official Android 7.0 Nougat features listed by Google. We’ve listed those for you below and added our overview of the five Android N developer previews for reference further below. Stay tuned for tons of news and our full Android 7.0 Nougat review which will coming in the next few days.
Official Android 7.0 Nougat features :-
- New JIT compiler for faster updates, VR mode, and Vulkan API support.
Battery & data :
- Doze on the go for better battery management and new data saver for restricting data usage for background apps.
- Split-screen mode, picture-in-picture, and double tap to quickly switch.
- Bundled notifications, direct reply, and notification controls.
System usability improvements :
- Customizable quick settings, redesigned quick settings bar, redesigned Settings, emergency information, and lockscreen wallpaper.
- Unicode 9 emoji
Privacy and security :
- New direct boot, seamless software updates (for new devices), file-based encryption, and scoped folder access.
Device setup and migration :
- More settings are no covered by Android Backup.
- Multiple locales support, new languages, and new language preferences.
- Accessibility settings are now part of the setup, customizable display size, accessibility mono output, and variable text to speech speed.
Android N Developer Preview
New folder icons
The app switcher has received a new Clear All button in the top left hand corner. When I say top left hand corner, I mean it. You won’t see it at the top of the multitasking card stack unless you’re at the first card in the stack (i.e. the “oldest” app in the list). There’s also a new image shown when the app switcher is empty.
The app switching shortcuts that debuted in the first Developer Preview have also changed. You no longer tap the Recents button to “scroll” through apps (there’s no countdown timer either) and entering split-screen mode is also different: you either long-press the Recents button when in a full-screen app or you long-press an app in the Recents list and drag it to the left.
Lock screen Quick Reply
You know how the last preview introduced Quick Reply direct from the notification shade? Well, this preview takes it one step further by allowing you to reply to notifications direct from the lock screen. Just got to Settings > Notifications > Settings > On the lock screen to set your preference.
Remember, privacy is obviously a great concern here, so be careful. Once enabled, anyone that picks up your phone is able to Quick Reply to any installed app that supports the feature, and that could be dangerous. A granular option for enabling individual apps would be a much better idea than this blanket approach.
Launcher shortcuts on the home screen
The Android N Developer Preview 2 has also (kind of) introduced this idea to stock Android. The reason I say “kind of” is because although the feature is there it’s brand new, so no apps have yet taken advantage of it. Here’s what Google has to say about launcher shortcuts in its Android N documentation:
Android N allows apps to define action-specific shortcuts which can be displayed in the launcher. These launcher shortcuts let your users quickly start common or recommended tasks within your app. Each shortcut contains an intent, which links the shortcut to a specific action in your app.
Your app can create up to five dynamic shortcuts. When users perform a gesture over your app’s launcher icon, these shortcuts appear. By dragging the shortcuts onto the launcher, users can make persistent copies of the shortcuts, called pinned shortcuts. Users can create an unlimited number of pinned shortcuts for each app.