It’s Android 7.0 Nougat day! Well, for the owners of a small number of Nexus devices, and even then, of a small subset of them, because of the staged rollout – well, for them, it’s Android 7.0 Nougat day! If you have a Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C or General Mobile 4G (Android One), you can try checking for updates starting today. Alternatively, you can manually install a factory image once they become available.
Since Nougat’s been out as a developer preview for a while – I’ve been running it on my 6P for months – I doubt any of you will be surprised by what Nougat brings to the table. It’s a relatively small release compared to some other Android releases, but it still brings a number of interesting refinements and new features – the biggest of which is probably the new multiwindow feature.
The Verge’s got a review up, and mentions some of the less obvious features that I think are quite important:
A lot of what’s new in Nougat are features you can’t really see. I’m talking about deeply nerdy (but important) stuff like a JIT compiler for ART apps and support for the Vulkan API for 3D graphics. The former should provide some performance gains while the latter will help Android games look way better. Google also fixed up the way Android handles media so that it’s more secure, added file-based encryption, and added some features for enterprise users.
Another important feature laying groundwork for the future: seamless updates. Starting with Nougat, Android will use two separate partitions so updates can be installed and applied in the background, so that the next time you reboot, it’s ready to go.
As always – no idea when any of you will get to use Nougat, but it’s out there now.