Google wants to prepare you to adopt its latest Android version as soon as possible. The Android 7.0 Nougat has been released, though only for limited smartphones as of now. This is quite an interesting development because Google itself revealed that the adoption rate of its previous Android OS – Marshmallow – is still not quite up to the mark. Android 6.0 Marshmallow currently holds a 15.2% share among all Android versions currently installed on devices. We will have to wait and see whether Android Nougat picks up pace anytime soon.
What’s in store for us in Android Nougat?
Android Nougat will have several neat improvements over its predecessor. The most advanced Android system software yet will improve upon the app installation process from Google Play. This of course is not news to techies. We have seen Android take a big leap towards improving the app permissions bit in Android Marshmallow but it’s good to know that Google has made efforts in making the app install process even more smooth and seamless.
Some other noticeable improvements are in the form of new emojis, an updated camera app, launcher shortcuts, and for the first time ever on stock Android – multi-window support. Samsung smartphone users, and even some other brand users, will already be familiar with the multi-window feature but this is Google’s first attempt at offering the multi-window support on stock Android itself. One would hope that this should make the feature far more intuitive and seamless to use considering its not an OEM’s tweaked or forced add-on feature.
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One of the key original features on the Android Marshmallow was the Doze feature that improved the battery efficiency of your device by dozing off when not in use, thereby preserving battery quite a bit. That feature is going to see further improvement in Android Nougat, which means you will have an even more efficient battery. From a nerd’s perspective, there’s really nothing like software improving hardware efficiency; it’s pure gold.
The notification and toggle features will also see an improved UI and UX. The notifications will have more detailed visuals. This is of course Google trying to perfect the user experience. I am not convinced all Android users will appreciate too much visual detailing but it’s not me who is deciding how billions of devices interact with their human owners so I will let those better suited to this perfection-debate get on with it.
A major improvement to the new Android version comes in terms of developer access. How the apps that run on the OS perform depend largely on the developer community. In order to build truly great apps and experiences developers need better and more efficient access to hardware. This is exactly what Vulkan API helps developers achieve.
The Vulkan API is an advanced development interface that allows for more efficient access to the graphics hardware on the device. This is something relatively old APIs such as OpenGL are not able to do on ever improving multicore devices. As soon as developers familiarize themselves with the Vulkan API the gaming experience on Android devices will jump to the next level.
Google Daydream is the VR experience for smartphones that you will love
Apart from all the cool features mentioned above Android Nougat will also have far better support for Google’s VR platform called Daydream. The very first phone to support Google Daydream is the ZTE Axon 7 that is powered by Android Marshmallow. But Google had also stated that for Daydream to realize its full potential it will have to run on smartphones with specifications that will put current generation high-end specs to shame.
The ZTE Axon 7, which is a digital specimen (if there is such a thing) in its own right, is only the most basic phone to support Daydream VR. Get ready for 8 GB RAM phones.
Which handsets will have Android 7.0 Nougat?
At the time of this writing quite a few devices have crept up that will have early support for Android Nougat. Sony Xperia Z3 is one device that is sure to have Android Nougat support. HTC has gone ahead and confirmed that its flagship phone the HTC 10 will be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat. It has also announced some other HTC phones that will be updated to the latest Android version. These phones include, but are not restricted to, HTC One A9 and HTC One M9. However, these updates will be available a little later this year and not immediately.
While these products will see Nougat on board their hardware a little later this year, the first phone to support the Android Nougat will be the LG V20, which is scheduled to be launched in September. This is even earlier than Google’s Nexus series phones that will have Android Nougat to boast of. A number of Motorola phones are also expected to get Android Nougat updates.
By this time next year you can expect Android Nougat to be commonplace in the market but it’s adoption rate is not likely to be significant until about 2018.