While the on-going Android releases read like a candy store stock directory, there’s no denying that each iteration of Google’s mobile operating system brings impressive new features that help get the most out of our devices, while also adding some new bells and whistles along the way.
Following Android 6.0 AKA Marshmallow, Google is now preparing to launch its latest instalment, Android 7.0 Nougat. But what exactly does this tasty new version entail? We take a closer look.
OK, so what is it?
Android Nougat is Google’s latest update of its phone and tablet operating system – an OS that’s been so thoroughly refined that the company is now more than halfway through the alphabet with names, at letter 14 of 26.
When is it available?
Google has officially begun rolling out the latest software upgrade to its own Nexus devices. So, if you have a Google Nexus smartphone, you’ll always be one of the first to get the new version. If you own a Samsung, Sony, LG or other manufacturer’s Android device, you may have to wait a little while. Each manufacturer has to rework and tinker their own version of the software before pushing it out to their users. That can take up from a few weeks to months depending on the complexity of the version. So hold tight!
What new stuff does Nougat add?
Multi-window support: Multi-taskers will love this one. True dual-window support is finally arriving, and Split Screen is deservedly the highlight of Android Nougat on phones and tablets. You’re going to be able to open up two apps at once on your phone or tablet.
And if you use Android TV, it gets a picture-in-picture mode, allowing you to continue watching your show in a smaller screen while performing another task.
There’s also a Clear All button at the top of the multi-tasking menu on your phone to make it simple to close all your apps. Then there’s a new feature called Quick Switch, which lets you jump back to the previous application with a double tap of the recent (multi-tasking) button in the navigation bar.
Direct reply notifications: You won’t have to navigate away from your current window (or, now, windows) just to answer an incoming message. You can just reply within the notification that appears at the top of the screen.
Google is opening up this Direct Reply Notifications beyond Hangouts too, and that could mean popular apps like WhatsApp could take advantage of this convenient inline messaging feature.
Quick Settings Menu: While Google stock Android software has had switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode and so forth, it required pulling the notifications bar down a second time to reveal the quick settings menu. Google is adding a new quick settings menu to the notifications shade you as you pull down from the top the first time around. It’s a lot like the one Samsung, LG and every other Android manufacturer seems to use.
Doze Mode 2.0: Android Marshmallow’s Doze Mode, which is Google’s crafty way of saving battery life whenever your device is stationary, gets an update with Nougat. The energy-saving feature will now limit even more background tasks when your phone goes into standby, hopefully helping save battery life even more than before.
Performance boost: Google says Android Nougat will provide its biggest leap forward in graphics with the introduction of Vulkan, giving game developers much-needed control of the GPU. That in turn will result in even better graphics and smoother, faster performance.
Are you excited to get Android Nougat on your device? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and telling us what you think of the new OS.
This article was brought to you by iFix Repair Specialists.