Android has announced its new operating system for smartphones, called Nougat, with a range of exciting features.
LG was the first manufacturer to release a phone running the Android 7 OS. The South Korean firm is hoping its V20 phone with Android 7 Nougat on board will be enough to tempt people away from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. This phone runs last year’s Android 6 Marshmallow and has been suspended due to batteries catching fire.
Reviews of Android 7 Nougat are largely good. The interface is familiar and therefore intuitive and drop down menus have been improved.
A popular feature is multiple windows for multi-tasking. Users can open one window to watch a video while reading news in another. The multi-tasking does not work with many apps, however and contents may not appear correctly in split screens.
Android 7 Nougat OS also includes the Vulkan API, to unlock gaming power. The API is used by game developers to exploit a device’s hardware during game play.
Previous versions of Android have used OpenGL ES API, but Vulkan has a lower overhead. This should lead to lower battery drain.
Google has also improved the doze functionality and resource management for apps. Nougat uses a ‘just in time’ approach to loading data with apps. This means data is loaded when it is needed rather than ahead of time. The doze feature also reduces the frequency of calls to apps while you are not using the phone.
When will Android 7 Nougat come to your phone?
The company has confirmed the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player and Pixel C will all be getting an over-the-air update.
Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive the final version.
BlackBerry users probably need to wait until the end of 2016 for first releases.
HTC confirmed via Twitter that it expects to roll out in Q4 on unlocked models of the HTC 10, HTC One A9 and the HTC One M9, as well as carrier versions.
Huawei may release a Mate 9 device, but users should look out for announcements.
LG has rolled out the V20 with Nougat on board. It is likely to update other devices, including G5 within a couple of months.
Sony has announced it will make Android Nougat available to the Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia X, Xperia XA, Xperia XA Ultra and Xperia X Performance.