Android Nougat (or Android N) has finally rolled out to a variety of Nexus devices and will soon roll out to other devices too. Right now, the list of supported device includes Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Pixel C and Nexus Player. Google also confirmed that LG V20 will be the first device to be running Android N right out of the box. So what has changed? What does Android N have that makes it better than its predecessor? Here are some Android Nougat features worth looking at.
Better UI and Notifications
The most obvious improvement is the UI; especially the Notification menu. You will see quick control toggles when you swipe down from the top of the screen, where you will be able to activate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. much quicker. The notifications now are more space efficient with smaller fonts. You can make it present itself in stacks according to the app so that you won’t have to deal with a screen full of notifications. Google has also enabled quick replies for 3rd party apps.
Quick Switch and Multi Window
Android is known for handling multi-tasking with ease but with Android N, it got even better. The feature called Quick Switch will allow you to switch between current and last used app by double tapping the Recent button. The Clear All button is back too. You can also access multi window feature through the Recent menu. All you have to do is press the Recent button when inside an app and you will be able to select a second app to open alongside your current app in a split screen view. Since almost all Android devices come with a 5 inch or larger screen, multi window feature will be quite useful.
You have seen this feature on the YouTube mobile app. This feature is said to be aimed more at Android TV users. You are now able to watch video in a pinned window while you are running another activity in the background.
Vulkan API Support
Android N has Vulkan API support, which will improve the quality of gaming, VR and other graphically intensive apps. Vulkan is an improvement from and replacement for OpenGL and promises to make cross platform gaming and development easier. This will result in maore power efficient and better looking games on Android.
DayDream is Google’s new VR platform. It is Google’s latest attempt at bringing VR to mobile devices with a headset and controller created by Google, and it’s going to be quite different than Google Cardboard. The compatibility will be limited to few brand new handsets.
Allo and Duo
Allo is Google’s new messaging app which includes its own search engine, machine-learning and security. With it, for example, you will be able to search the web and make bookings from within the conversations. It can also suggest replies based on what it understands form the words and picture you have received. There will also be a mode called Incognito Chat with enables end-to-end encryption when messaging. You can also set messaged to self-destruct.
Duo is Google’s new video calling app promised to make video calling as easy as possible. The feature called Knock Knock will get you previews of callers before you pick up. The calls will also be optimized for usage on limited bandwidth connections.
Google has tightened up the system’s core components allowing them to reduce the system requirements. Because of this, Android N will be able to run faster on low end model than the previous versions. Google has also improved the Doze feature which was introduced on Android M, which results in better battery life. The apps will install 75% faster and will take up to 50% less space.
Android app updates can be quite disturbing, especially if you are using the app that is being updated. In Android N, Google has introduced Seamless Updates. This will enable two system images to run simultaneously, allowing you to update an app while using it.
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