Android Nougat lets users run two apps side-by-side, putting an end to awkwardly flipping back and forth between them using the ‘recent apps’ button. From within side-by-side mode, users can resize windows to make it easier to copy information between apps. Switching between two full screen apps has also been made easier. A double tap of the ‘overview’ button will now flip between the two most recently used apps – a convenient upgrade for anyone who finds themselves frequently copying and pasting links from Chrome into Whats-app. Following in iOS’s footsteps, Nougat also adds the ability to directly reply to notifications without opening any app at all.
Fun and games
Nougat brings 72 new emoji to Android, bringing the total number past 1,500 – more than enough to express how you're feeling.Google is also making Nougat better for mobile gaming, including support for Vulkan – a 3D rendering API that that powers next-generation immersive graphics. Nougat is ready for GoogleDaydream, its own virtual reality gaming platform.
The quick settings menu has been rejigged to give users easier access to features such as Wi-Fi menus and the torch. With Android Nougat, users can move around quick settings tiles to suit their own priorities. Devices with Nougat will now also install software updates in the background and for current Nexus users, those software updates install much more quickly.
Android Nougat comes with file-based encryption and will better isolate and protect files for individual users on your device. Elsewhere, its Direct Boot feature helps your device startup faster, and apps run securely even before you unlock your device when your device reboots.
The Doze feature has been given an intelligent upgrade too. Now phones running Android Nougat will drop into lower power usage mode when they’re being jostled around in a pocket or bag, helping stretch your phone’s battery until you reach a charging point.
Google has announced Android 7.1, Nougat's first maintenance release, with a developer preview coming later this month.
According to Google, this "incremental update" builds on the strengths of Android 7.0, but adds some important new features, including Daydream support, A/B system updates, an app shortcut API for the new default launcher, and the long-awaited ability to use image keyboards.
The Android 7.1 Developer Preview will be released for the Nexus 5X, 6P and Pixel C, according to Google, though the final release will include all devices, such as the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player and select Android One devices, that were included in the wider Nougat rollout.
What’s in Android 7.1?
Android 7.1 delivers the productivity, security, and performance of Android 7.0, along with a variety of optimizations and bug fixes, features, and new APIs (API level 25).
For developers, Android 7.1 adds new capabilities to help you drive engagement in your app and deliver an improved user experience, such as:
• App shortcuts API — lets you surface key actions directly in the launcher and take your users deep into your app instantly. You can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.
• Circular app icons support — lets you provide great-looking rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.
• Enhanced live wallpaper metadata — lets you provide metadata about your live wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. You can show existing metadata such as label, description, and author, as well as a new context URL and title to link to more information.
Android 7.1 also adds these much-requested developer features to the platform:
• Image keyboard support — expands the types of content that users can enter from their keyboards, letting them express themselves through custom stickers, animated gifs, and more. Apps can tell the keyboard what types of content they accept, and keyboards can deliver all of the images and other content that they offer to the user. For broad compatibility, this API will also be available in the support library.
• Storage manager Intent — lets an app take the user directly to a new Settings screen to clear unused files and free up storage space on the device.
For carriers and calling apps, the platform includes new APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options.