Android 7.0 Nougat : What we know so far, update schedules, release dates.

UPDATE : Android 7.0 Nougat To Arrive on August 22

With the announcement of the name confirmed and talk already in circulation from major OEMs on forthcoming updates, it appears the final rollout is not terribly far off. Sony has already started the Xperia beta program for Android 7.0 Nougat.

Not to mention that after a long period of mysterious silence rumours and leaks are suddenly hotting up about the next crop of Nexus phones from HTC – the Sailfish and Marlin.

What’s interesting this year is that the Nexus phones wouldn’t be the first to come with Android 7.0 out of the box this year but the LG V20 will be.  As per usual, third parties like Samsung and HTC will prep their software updates to follow in the run up to Christmas and New Year, and into 2017 until the next Android version is launched. Where the whole cycle will start all over again!

Google talked about its plans for Android in the future pretty extensively at this year’s Google I/O 2016. The company has ideas about how it can solve fragmentation in its platform, but these are just ideas and it will still be quite some time before we see any advancements in this regard. 

RECOMMENDED : What are seamless updates in Android 7.0 Nougat and how do they work?

Recent figures from Google’s Android Usage Page reveals just 10% of current Android handsets are running Android Marshmallow — that is an exceptionally low figure for a platform as big as Android. Even more so when you compare adoption rates to Apple’s iOS platform, despite the differences between how Google and Apple do things. 

 

Android Nougat Release Date: When Will It Be Available? 

The Android Nougat release date is happening in August, according to the latest news reports. It’s already out with Developer Preview 5, and we’ve tested it. Here are the feature in the beta.

ALSO READ : HTC Nexus Sailfish to be as fast as Galaxy Note 7

Android Nougat is Google’s next phone and tablet operating system update that’s been so thoroughly refined that the company is officially more than halfway through the English alphabet, letter 14 of 26.

You can now download Android Nougat Developer Preview and test its new features that didn’t make the cut in last November’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow launch alongside the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X.

Android Nougat Update: When Will YOUR Phone Get It?

As of right now, this is the Android N update schedule for Nexus:

  • March: Android N developer preview 1 (alpha)
  • April: Android N developer preview 2 (beta)
  • May: Android N developer preview 3 (beta)
  • June: Android N developer preview 4 (with final APIs and SDK)
  • July: Android N developer preview 5 (near-final build)
  • August: Final Android 7.0 AOSP build

We can hear you out there screaming, “when is Android N update coming to my phone?!” If you’ve got a recent flagship phone, you should be in luck. Most phone and tablet makers try and push the software to devices that are less than two years old, but it may be quite a wait. In a shocking twist, there’s one random outlier in the Android Nougat compatibility matrix: Sony Xperia Z3. It can tap into the current Developer Preview 4 as a way to test speed and apps on Sony’s popular phone.

Each manufacturer can take time to tweak the updates. Take Android Marshmallow for example, some phones still don’t have the update. If you want the latest software, it’s best to get a Nexus device, as the newest version of Android will always be pushed to that first.

If you own a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or a Google Pixel C you can test out the Developer Preview 5 right now.

HTC has confirmed it will be bringing Android Nougat to the HTC 10, One A9 and One M9 – although there’s no time table yet.

Motorola has also confirmed the Moto G4 Plus will get Android 7 software in the future. The strange thing is, Motorola also confirmed the phone will be updated to Android O when it comes around as well. That’s software Google hasn’t even announced yet and there’s no guarantee Android 8 will be named after the letter O.

Even the little known Nextbit Robin is confirmed to be getting the Android Nougat update.

Android Nougat VR

We’ve tested out a bunch of existing Android Nougat features below, but there’s one exciting new tools that isn’t part of the developer beta: Google Daydream.

A buried menu for VR helper services in Android N Developer Preview 4, and an equally buried release note for “Android VR” in Unreal Engine 4.12 beta hints at a big push for a Google Cardboard successor – and Google confirmed its VR intentions during IO.

The Play Store, StreetView, Photos, YouTube and Play Movies will all support VR, allowing you to jump into games, locations and videos – all via Google’s Daydream VR platform. Daydream is due to be released in the fall, so it’s unlikely to be included in the initial Android N launch.

Expect Google Daydream to be part of a future maintenance update for Android Nougat, though you can get phones like ZTE Axon 7 (the first Google Daydream phone) right now.

Multi-window support

True multitasking support is finally arriving as expected, 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 Nexus phone or tablet.

mw-splitscreen.png

It’s a popular feature Samsung and LG phones have incorporated into their Android skins years ago, so it’s nice (and about time) Google is including the same functionality in its own software. It’s easy to launch too – just long press on the recent (multi-tasking) button in the nav bar.

Multi-window support could increase enterprise interest in Android tablets and the Pixel C. It’s a bet that Apple recently made when it launched a similar split-screen and picture-in-picture feature for iOS 9.

Meanwhile Android TV gets picture-in-picture mode, allowing you to continue watching your show in a smaller screen while performing another task.

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.

android-n-update-direct-reply-650-80.jpg

It worked well enough for the iPhone and iPad when the same idea made its debut with iOS 8 under the name Quick Reply. But Apple’s approach to messages worked strictly with its iMessage app.

Google is opening up Direct Reply Notifications beyond Hangouts, and that could mean popular apps like WhatsApp could take advantage of this convenient inline messaging feature.

New quick settings menu

Google is adding a new quick settings menu to the notifications shade you pull down from the top. It’s a lot like the one Samsung, LG and every other Android manufacturer seems to use.

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Sure, Google stock Android software has had switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode and so forth, but it required pulling the notifications bar down a second time to reveal the quick settings menu.

Now the quick settings toggles are here as soon as you gesture downward once to see notifications. The best news is that all of the buttons small and unobstructive. It leaves room for notifications to flourish.

Longtime Nexus users will also be happy to hear that the quick settings switches can be sorted to your liking, much like they can on other Android phones. You won’t need the System UI Tuner to meddle.

For example, I often use MiFi more than Airplane Mode, so Mobile Hotspot icon get promoted to be one of the five icons along the top of the initial quick settings on my Nexus 6P.

ALSO READ : 9 Android nougat features to be excited about

That little airplane icon is still there for my takeoff and landings needs, but it got the bump to the second swipe menu. Sorting is finally up to you, which is really what Android is all about.

Bundled notifications

Google’s not done with the way Android N changes notifications. It also announced that notification cards will be grouped together if they’re from the same app.

All messages from a specific messaging app, for example, are bundled together in the notification shade. These grouped alerts can then be expanded into individual notifications using a two-finger gesture or tapping the all-new expansion button.

This is basically the opposite of what Apple did in the jump from iOS 8 to iOS 9, switching from grouping them by app to lining them up chronologically. We’ll see which method works best this autumn.

There’s more control over your notifications in Android Nougat too, as now you can long press on a notification to either silence future notifications, or turn them off completely.

Android Nougat multi-tasking

There are two handy new features in multi-tasking on Android Nougat. First up is a Clear All button at the top of the multi-tasking menu – a feature Google says has been one of the most asked for. This allows you to close all applications running in the background with a single tap.

We’ve seen manufacturers add a clear all button in their Android interfaces, but the stock version has been crying out for the same function. Finally, we’re getting it.

Secondly, Google’s added Quick Switch to Android Nougat. This lets you jump back to the previous application with a double tap of the recent (multi-tasking) button in the navigation bar.

Doze Mode 2.0

One of the (literal) sleeper hits of Android Marshmallow has been Doze Mode, Google’s crafty way of saving battery life whenever your device is stationary. It’s amounts to a deep standby mode.

Doze-mode-3_twin_w_755.jpg

Android Nougat is going to step up the company’s energy-saving software techniques by expanding Doze Mode so that it thoroughly limits background tasks whenever the screen is turned off.

That’s ideal for throwing a phone in your pocket or your tablet in a backpack, and then retrieving it the next day or next week without having to recharge it right away. Your “I can’t even” face when you pick up your dead Nexus phone the next morning will be a thing of the past.

Android Nougat performance

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.

Related : What is Vulkan?

That in turn will result in even better graphics and smoother, faster performance.

If you’ve downloaded apps from other sources that aren’t the Google Play Store, you’ll now be able to identify where the app came from by going into your Settings, App Info and then Package Installer.

There’s also been a number of Android runtime improvements, including optimizations to the JIT compiler which has seen task speeds increase between 30%-600% compared to the previous version.

Updates are also more seamless, with security updates automatically downloaded and a simple fresh boot up of your device will see you run the latest offering. It’s also got rid of that annoying “Android is updating” pop up when you restart after an update.

But if you, like the majority of Android users, aren’t rocking a Nexus handset, well, you might just have to wait that little bit longer for Android N to arrive on your device. The reasons for this are myriad. Unfortunately, long delays on Android updates, even for flagship phones, is a fact of life within the Android Kingdom.

2 thoughts on “Android 7.0 Nougat : What we know so far, update schedules, release dates.

  1. Pingback: Google may have leaked Nexus Sailfish photo | Verdict

  2. Pingback: Nexus 2016 rumour roundup : What we know so far | Verdict

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