Android 7.0 – 7.1.2 Nougat

By on 25th February 2017
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Is the seventh major version of the Android Operating System. First released as a beta build on March 9, 2016, it was officially released on August 22, 2016, with Nexus devices being the first to receive the update, though the LG V20 was the first new smart-phone released with Nougat.

Nougat introduces notable changes to the operating system and its development platform, including the ability to display multiple apps on-screen at once in a split-screen view, support for inline replies to notifications, as well as an Open JDK-based Java environment and support for the Vulkan graphics rendering API, and “seamless” system updates on supported devices.

Android Nougat introduces a split-screen display mode for phones, in which two apps can be snapped to occupy halves of the screen. An experimental multi-window mode is also available as a hidden feature, where multiple apps can appear simultaneously on the screen in overlapping windows. 

The notification shade was redesigned, featuring a smaller row of icons for settings, replacing notification cards with a new “sheet” design, and allowing inline replies to notifications (this feature is implemented via existing APIs that are used for similar functionality on Android Wear). Multiple notifications from a single app can also be “bundled”, and there is greater per-app control over notifications.

The “Doze” power saving mechanism introduced in Android Marshmallow was expanded to include a state activated when the device is running on battery and the screen has been off for a period of time but is not stationary. In this state, network activity is restricted, and apps are granted “maintenance windows” in which they can access the network and perform background tasks. As in Marshmallow, the full Doze state is activated if the device is stationary with its screen off for a period of time. A new “Data Saver” mode restricts background mobile data usage, and can trigger internal functions in apps that are designed to reduce bandwidth usage, such as capping the quality of streaming media. 

Android 7.0 was officially released on August 22, 2016, with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G as the first devices to receive the update. Dave Burke, Android’s Vice President of Engineering, stated in August 2016 that updates to Nougat would be released quarterly as maintenance releases focusing on “continued refinements and polish”, with a new developer preview coming in the fall of 2016. On September 6, 2016, LG announced the V20, the first smartphone to ship with Nougat pre-loaded. 

Google unveiled the first-party Pixel and Pixel XL smart-phones during a hardware-focused event on October 4, 2016.

Updates to existing devices will vary by manufacturer and carrier. HTC has stated that it planned to begin updating the HTC 10, HTC One A9 and HTC One M9 in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the Nougat update was subsequently released to unlocked handsets on November 25, 2016. Sony also confirmed that it would update a range of its recent devices to Nougat. Motorola Updated their Moto G4 Plus from Android Marshmallow to Android Nougat Recently OnePlus released Nougat with OxygenOS 4 to the 3 and 3T models on December 31, 2016.

Qualcomm stated that it would not support Nougat on devices using its Snapdragon 800 and 801 system-on-chips for undisclosed reasons. Although developer preview builds of Nougat were released for the device, Sony stated that it would not upgrade the Xperia Z3 (which uses the Snapdragon 801) to the final version due to “unforeseen platform limitations”. It was reported that the Google Compatibility Test Suite (whose tests must be passed in order to receive official certification) specified that all devices running Nougat must support either Vulkan or OpenGL ES 3.1 graphics APIs — neither of which are supported by the device’s Adreno 330 graphics core.

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