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
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
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.