Sweet Changes Coming With Android’s Nougat OS

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Who doesn’t love Android OS updates? The latest is now rolling out to Nexus devices and it brings a whole bunch of welcome changes to the system.

Android’s newest update – version 7.0 – is called Nougat, following the naming pattern of sweet goodness that is Google’s update cycle.

One of the biggest changes for this update is that many beloved apps are all ready to take advantage of the new features and support. This is because Google allowed developers a peek at Android N early – in March – so they could prepare and bring their apps to the new platform.

According to the official blog, there are over 250 major features in the new update. There’s no way we can cover everything, so we’ll just go over the best stuff.

Better Customization Options

The cornerstone of Android is customization and personalization. When you pick up a new Android phone, you can change nearly everything about it. You can change the way it looks, the way it works and much more.

Most of this can be done by installing third-party apps, but over the years Android has included more and more features to customize the platform naturally. Widgets are a great example of this.

Android N will include an option to completely revamp the quick settings. You know the menu that appears when you pull down the notification bar? Now you’ll be able to add custom items and shortcuts, and organize the different options to your liking.

nougat

Multitasking Support

Let’s be honest: Mobile phones aren’t the best when it comes to multitasking. Sure, you can swap between apps quickly on Android, but you can only have one window open at a time.

Not anymore.

Android N now lets you run two apps – or windows – side-by-side. If you need to, you can resize the windows to match your needs. So you can watch videos while taking notes, or answer texts while browsing social media.

When you double tap the overview (menu) button, you can quickly swap between two recently used apps. This allows you to move from app to app seamlessly, while doing things like copying text, saving images and more.

Better Battery Performance

With each iteration of Android, performance and battery usage is improved. Android N is no exception to that rule.

The Doze feature – which helps conserve battery life by hibernating apps – has been improved in the latest release. When you place your phone in your pocket, handbag or backpack, Doze hibernates apps and puts your phone into a low-power state. This helps the battery last longer, especially when you’re out and about.

In Android N, the Doze feature can induce a state for your phone that uses even less power. In short, your phone will last much longer and will perform better.

Nexus Only, For Now

There are a lot more features in the new update, but we covered all the major ones. Sadly, not everyone will get to experience Android N.

For now, it’s only available to Nexus devices because they are running a pure version of the Android OS. All other phones and brands will deliver news about the update on a case-by-case basis. This means some phones will be updated – mostly the newer models – while others will be overlooked.

That’s the most unfortunate part about new OS updates for Android. The market is fragmented, which means every device is different.

Worse yet, you have to wait for your wireless provider – Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, etc. – to roll out a carrier-specific update on their network. That can take months, if not years.

So, while these features are certainly welcome, there’s no guarantee we all be able to experience them.

There Could Be More

Let’s be honest here. Android is great at a lot of things, but there are still quite a few features it’s missing. Many of them would be convenient.

For instance, there’s no restart option in the power menu. It would also be nice to see a bulk app uninstall feature so you can remove multiple apps at a time, instead of one-by-one which takes forever.

The bottom line is that Android still has room for improvement and many of these changes are overlooked when new updates arrive. Considering how long most of us have to wait before we can get our hands on the new content, it’s more than a little frustrating.

Image via Official Android Blog

 

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Kayla Matthews is the editor of Productivity Bytes and a regular contributor to VentureBeat, Motherboard, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.

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