Android Nougat brings VR, security and multi-tasking features to Google Nexus smartphones
Google is rolling out the latest version of Android to Nexus devices, boosting security, productivity and personalisation.
Android Nougat is the seventh major iteration of the mobile operating system and has been available to developers since March in order for them to optimise their applications. In total, Google says Nougat has 250 major new features.
Multitasking is improved by the ability to run two different applications side-by-side in resizable windows and users can now reply directly from notifications.
Tapping the overview button twice lets a device switch between the two most recently used apps and a new customisable quick settings menu provides rapid access to functions such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the torch.
Battery life is now more efficient thanks to improvements to the doze feature, which automatically uses less power when the device detects it is in a bag or pocket and multiple languages are supported in search results.
Google says it has boosted the overall security of Android, which is seen as a more attractive target than iOS, following on from its recent commitment to rapidly roll out patches to devices in the Nexus range – a commitment matched by Samsung and BlackBerry.
Specifically, file-based encryption has been added, as has ‘direct boot’ – which helps the device start up faster and lets apps run securely even before its unlocked after a reboot.
Seventy-two new emojis have been added, bringing to the total number up to more than 1,500, and support is added for the Vulkan advanced 3D rendering API for games and Google Daydream – the company’s virtual reality (VR) platform.
Daydream is designed for smartphones and comprises a reference design headset alongside the aforementioned software update.
Any device enrolled in the Android Beta programme will get the final version of Nougat and the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and Android One will get an over the air (OTA) software update.