After months of heated discussions, Google has finally revealed that the next version of its mobile operating system will be known as Android Nougat.
Even though no new features were disclosed aside from the official name, we already know quite a bit about the upcoming version. It will be months until we see the final product, which means that Google still has a lot of time to improve or remove the currently present beta features. Still, we know what to expect down the line.
Android Nougat is bringing a completely new way of multitasking. The split-screen multitasking will be added onto the traditional multitasking view, present on phones and tablets. Even though some manufacturers already offer this feature that works with their own built-in apps, it lacks compatibility with the Play Store apps.
What is surprising is that apps don’t need to be updated to support this feature. However, the current beta does have some issues with apps like Instagram, which are not selectable at the moment.
The task-switching button has another interesting trick. By double tapping on this button, the phone will switch to your most recently used app. Even though this seems like a minor addition, it can be a real time-saver.
Android Nougat is making sure you don’t miss a single notification, but it also allows a far greater flexibility. A full-width design will be implemented, where smaller icons make better use of space.
When it comes to some of the new features, now you can tap twice on a notification to see more information. Furthermore, you can perform quick actions with just one tap.
This is a good way to deal with email messages. Instead of going to your default email client, now you can delete messages right from your notification pane or respond without using the app.
In case you like to play free-to-play games, you will be happy to know that Android Nougat allows you to easily fine-tune your notifications. If there is a game that is aggressive with push messages, you can easily mute or block the game from within the pane.
Now, let’s talk about real innovation. Google has made an announcement of a new Android-powered VR platform called Daydream. In order to use this feature, you will need a Daydream-certified phone able to power a new VR mode.
At this moment, the company is showing off a reference design along with a new wireless motion controller. This means that we still need to wait to see the final product.
The good news is that Google is actively working on developing VR-ready version of its most popular apps like YouTube and Maps’ Street View. Furthermore, companies like Netflix, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts have joined as well.
Android Nougat makes a big change when it comes to how the new Android version handles processor and battery usage. Google claims performance increases in almost every possible aspect, which means that older handsets should run this OS without any issues.
Nougat brings a new graphics API called Vulkan, set to deliver better visual performance while reducing the workload. Updated Play Store apps can now be 50 percent smaller, resulting in 75 percent faster installation times.
Android Nougat is slated for release later this summer, according to Google. Still, it might take a couple of months until manufacturers optimize this release for their phones and tablet. As usual, it is expected that Android flagship models will receive it first, followed by other phones capable of running this release.