Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat is set to roll out on August 5, according to reports. The new Android version will bring a host of new features including revamped Settings and Notifications menu. It will also bring changes to the Camera app and Doze feature seen in Android Marshmallow. More features include the ability to run apps without actually installing them on a device.
Evan Blass confirmed Android 7.0 will be unveiled for users next week in a tweet. “Android 7.0 releases next month, with the 8/5 security patch. Sorry Nexus 5 owners, no Nougat for you,” said Blass. Google Nexus 5, which is almost three years old will not receive the update.
Google rolled out Developer Preview 5 for Android Nougat with final APIs in late July. The Developer Preview 5 was available for Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices, as well as General Mobile 4G [Android One] devices. It helped Android developers take note of system behaviour changes in Android N by testing their apps. Let us take a look at the top features of Android 7.0 Nougat:
Doze on the Go
Battery optimisation is one of the biggest pain points for a smartphone user, and Google aims to solve that problem with Doze on the Go. The Doze feature was first seen on Android Marshmallow. The battery saving mode in Android M only got activated only when the phone was kept stationary. Now, in Android N, Doze on the Go feature will be activated as soon as the phone’s screen is turned off. This will allow users to save more of their smartphone’s battery on the go.
Other new stuff in Android N (Dev Preview 2)
Vulkan is a sexy new 3D Rendering API that promises to manage multiple cores in an even more efficient and fluid manner. Android N dev preview 2 now supports the Vulkan API so developers can start getting their apps ready.
In the Quick Settings there’s a new toggle for the calculator. While some will find this convenient it is a little out of place, because it serves as a shortcut to the full app. It also doesn’t serve as a toggle at all, because there’s nothing to turn on or off or any further menu items to be accessed.
Google has also made the drag and drop options for app icons more consistent. When dragging apps on the home screen the top options will be Remove and Uninstall and from the app drawer they will be Cancel and Uninstall. Both actions now include an App Info option at the bottom of the screen. (Update: The App Info shortcut doesn’t appear in Dev Preview 3.)
The notifications bar in Android N has been revamped to look more minimalist and clean. New features will allow users to reply to a notification, right from the notification bar, even without unlocking the smartphone. The new notifications settings also gives users an option to long press on a particular notification to choose to hide it.
Camera app in Android N has three new grid options apart from the standard 3×3 frame. The new grid options include – 4×4 grid, golden ratio overlay and a standard square. Users will no longer need to crop pictures while editing them on photo-editing apps that accept the standard square size. With the new square grid option, users can click pictures in the standard square size itself to edit them later. The interface of the Camera app has been tweaked a bit with the grid option now available on the main viewfinder screen.
Multi-window feature is something Android users might have wanted for a long time now. The feature will allow users to run apps in multi-windows simultaneously. Users can choose to run tasks both in the split-screen mode or picture-in-picture mode. The feature is somewhat similar to the one introduced for Xiaomi’s MIUI 8. The multi-window or the split-screen feature can be used on Android TV sets as well tablets, apart from smartphones.
Unicode 9.0 emoji support
The new Android N Developer Preview 2 also introduces Unicode 9.0 emoji, which are so new they haven’t even been announced yet. Besides a bunch of fun new emoji, Unicode 9.0 also “humanizes” many of its emoji, as opposed to the familiar cartoonish emoji in previous versions of Unicode.
The data saver feature in Android Nougat, as the name suggests, will allow users to restrict data usage for select apps in their smartphones. Users can simply turn on the data saver mode and choose which apps will get unrestricted data access to them. The feature will help users keep a tab on excessive Internet usage on their smartphones.
New Android N settings menu
Android N delivers a revamped settings menu too. The changes include the addition of a Suggestions drop-down section at the top and removal of the individual section dividers. One of the best changes though is that you can now see basic details of each section in the main Settings menu. So, for example, rather than have to enter the Wi-Fi menu to see which network you’re connected to, Android N displays that information in the top-level settings menu. It’s an obvious time-saving idea and is kind of surprising it has taken this long to appear. Sound and Notifications have now been given their own dedicated sections too, rather than being grouped together like in Marshmallow.
The hamburger menu returns and has now been explained, providing a swipe-out nav drawer that simply reproduces the top-level settings menu sections. While it’s debatable if it is any better than just tapping the back arrow when you’re one level into a menu, it will provide a quick escape route to the main settings when you’re several levels down in sub-menus. Of course, the presence of the hamburger menu in Android N also does away with the duplicated actions of the back arrow in the settings and the back arrow in the nav bar.