What you need to know about Android Nougat

Google has taken features from Apple and Samsung and thrown in one revolutionary feature to create its best OS yet.

Meryl D'Souza August 29, 2016

The latest version of Android is out and already available to Nexus users. As always, non-Nexus users will have to wait a while (maybe a month or two) before they get to sink their teeth into Google’s latest treat-inspired OS.

Here’s what you can expect when Nougat arrives on your device.

Better notifications

Nougat has overhauled Google’s notifications panel. Apart from simply giving it a sleeker look, you’ll now be able to customise notifications directly from the lock screen. Which basically means you can either block or mute those annoying messages from your school group. Google has also finally got on board with allowing you to reply to texts from your notifications panel.

Instant apps

This is the revolutionary feature we were talking about. With Android Nougat, you can simply open Google Play store and start using an app within the Play Store. This gives you the chance to try it out before deciding whether or not to download it.

Multitasking is finally here

With Nougat you’ll be able to view two apps on your screen simultaneously by simply tapping the ‘Recent’ button on the bottom right of your screen. Yes, Samsung and Apple got here first, but it’s good to see Google catching up. Double tapping the ‘Recent’ button seamlessly takes you to the last app you used. The ‘Recent’ menu also comes with a Clear All button, which was also already on aforementioned UIs. Better late than never.

Quick settings

Another feature inspired from Apple is Nougat’s quicker Quick Settings. Now, dragging your finger top down from the screen pulls a single row with five quick options. You can tap the arrow to expand the bar to show you a complete list, but this particular feature is meant for those of you who don’t like fiddling with your phones just to toggle with the Wi-Fi or torch.

Data saver

Not content with simply saving your battery, Nougat also lets you control your data so that you have significantly less bills to pay. Data saver reduces the amount of data your apps use, and can signal them to use less data. Additionally, you can select specific apps to run in the background so that you don’t miss out on Instagram Stories. 

Better battery

Google’s Doze feature showed up with Marshmallow, saving your battery by deactivating apps when you’ve left your phone idle. With Nougat, Google’s upgraded that feature to work when you’re moving around as well. Now, every time you’re screen is off, Doze will kick in to save some precious juice. 

Security

Android Nougat encrypts individual files meaning that your files are more secure, thus reducing the risk of harmful files causing havoc on your handset.

All fun and games

Google will support Unicode 9 with Nougat, which means it’s home to a lot more emojis now, taking the count to over 1,500. That’s not all though, probably influenced by the rise of Pokemon Go, Google is concentrating on gaming with support for Vulkan – a 3D rendering API that is capable of producing immersive graphics and excellent performance with low CPU usage. 

Lower system requirements

Keeping in line with Project Svelte – that was first introduced with Android 4.4 KitKat - Android Nougat now rocks tighter core components, lowering the system requirements to run faster on devices with lower-end hardware.

Daydream

Nougat supports Daydream – Google’s ambitious virtual reality project. So when Daydream does pick up steam, Nougat will be able to give you the best VR experience on a mobile device yet. The downside though, is that Daydream won’t be compatible with your current handset. So you’ll have to splash on a new one come 2017.