Today, Google announced that Android 7.0 Nougat has begun rolling out to users, starting as always with modern Nexus devices. This release includes over 250 major new features, Google says, and will be followed by regular maintenance releases going forward.
“Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans, all around the world,” Google vice president Dave Burke writes in a post to the Android Developers Blog. “Nougat brings a number of new features to help make Android more powerful, more productive and more secure.”
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If you’re using a Google Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, or Pixel C, or a General Mobile 4G (Android One) handset, you will get Android 7.0 Nougat automatically, and over-the-air. Devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version, Google says, and checking my own Nexus 6P, sure enough, there it was.
Some of the more important new features in Android 7.0 Nougat include:
Multi-window view. Now you can run two apps side-by-side in a new splitscreen view, just like a big boy OS. On phones, the new app windows are stacked top to bottom.
Improved 3D performance. Support for the Vulkan API enables a new generation of high performance 3D games on supported devices.
Virtual Reality Mode. Android 7.0 is the first version of Android to be designed with virtual reality as a core feature. Note, however, that this requires new Daydream-compatible devices.
Display scaling. In previous releases, Google let you change the size of text displayed on your device. Now, you can also scale the size of icons and the general user experience.
Doze improvements. The Doze battery life saving feature is being improved so that your device will now go into low power usage while you carry it in your pocket or purse.
Data Saver. This new feature prevents apps in the background from accessing cellular data when enabled.
Interactive notifications. Now, you can interact with notifications and not leave the app you’re using. So if you get a text message, you can reply right in the notification that appears. You can also silence future alerts from an app right in the notification.
Quick settings customization. Quick settings—which are like the quick actions in the Windows 10 Action Center—can now be fully customized, so you can see only the quick settings you want, and in the order you want.
Multiple simultaneous languages. You can use two or more languages at the same time: Just add them in Language preferences.
New emojis. This release includes over 1500 emoji, including 72 that are new to Android 7.
Improved security. Android 7 includes numerous security improvements, including background software update downloads, file-based encryption, Direct Boot, and more.
Suffice to say, Android 7.0 Nougat is a big release. I’ll be writing a lot more about this update in the coming weeks.