Android Nougat 7.0 features of note

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Android 7.0 Nougat, the major revision of Android for 2016/2017, made its debut when LG unveiled its new flagship smart phone in New York this week, just 24 hours ahead of Apple’s iPhone 7 event in San Francisco. The new version of Android comes with an impressive range of upgrades from Android Marshmallow 6.0.

Menlo Technologies is impressed, and believes the new features will make way for the future of Android app development.

Key features of Android 7.0 Nougat include:

Multitasking changes

Android was the first mobile operating system to support multitasking. Still, each app that you opened remained open and running in the background, draining battery life. Nougat automatically closes apps aren’t being used, keeping open just the last seven apps you have actually used. You can also clear out that list. Touch tap Clear All from the top of the screen and everything will be cleared away. Other multitasking features include:

  • Multi-window capability: Android Nougat supports the ability for users to run two apps at once on the screen and interact with them in real time.
  • Quick Switch: a new feature that allows users to double tap the recent button to easily jump between apps, similar to using Command+tab on a Mac or alt-tab on a PC.
  • Android TV multitasking: An upgrade that delivers picture-in-picture mode for the first time and will allow users to show a video in a small box while working on another app. (Just in time for baseball playoffs and football season!)

Vulkan API

Nougat officially adds support for the Vulkan API, which promises faster, smoother and better rendered gaming graphics. Game developers can simply choose from the higher performance and complexity of Vulkan or stick with the easier-to-implement but less intense OpenGL standard. It’s a win-win for gamers and developers alike, even if Vulkan will take a while to spread.

Nougat also supports Java 8, allowing greater flexibility for developers. Nougat also makes the move from Java APIs to an OpenJDK-based approach. 

New Doze function

A new feature called Doze debuted in Marshmallow to address the battery drain issues that have long plagued Android. Doze gets a tune-up with Nougat. Android Nougat gives you battery saving benefits automatically, and also gives you the ability to tune it per app, so you can program some apps to interrupt you while others can’t.

That way you really can tweak your device to how you use it.

Here’s how.

  1. Navigate to Settings and Battery.
  2. Tap the menu button and select ‘Battery optimization’.
  3. Tap the gray menu at the top and select ‘All apps’. This shows all the apps on your device. They should also read ‘Optimizing for battery use’ underneath. This means Doze is already working some of its magic.
  4. Tap any app you don’t want to Doze and select ‘Don’t optimize’. It will no longer be turned off during standby and will receive alerts as they arrive.

Data Saver

Data Saver limits how much data your device uses. When Data Saver is turned on, apps in the background won’t be able to access cell data. This means less data being wasted since your Android apps will be unable to access data when you’re not actively using them or when the phone screen is off. All you have to do is activate the Data Saver in Settings.

Revised notifications

One of Android’s best features has always been notifications.  Android Nougat makes notifications more seamless, easier to take action in the moment, with more personalized settings and smarter notifications:

  • Rearrange your Quick Setting tiles so you can get to what you want faster.
  • Mini conversations within your notifications let you reply on the fly – without opening any app.
  • See what’s new at a glance with bundled notifications from apps. Simply tap to expand and view more info without having to open the app.

Nougat’s New In-Shade Notification Controls 

In 7.0, Google added quick notification controls that are directly accessible from the shade, as well as more advanced controls in a few different places. Here’s how to get a grip on those notifications once and for all.

So let’s say an app is being particularly annoying. The next time it sends you a notification, find it in the shade, and give it a long-press. This will open a new menu that give you three options: Show notifications silently, Block all notifications, or Don’t silence or block (this is the default option).  You can find a “More settings” button at the bottom, which takes you directly into that app’s more advanced notification settings. This is where you can block all notifications generated by the app, show them silently, control what shows up on the lock screen, or allow the app to override Do Not Disturb settings.

The Bottom Line

Let’s face it. This year’s big Android release isn’t a super flashy one. It’s more about making everything work better, faster and smarter. This version of Android is built on a stronger foundation than ever, even if the release is a little light on must-use features.

It should also be mentioned that  security enhancements have been added to Nougat along with additional security features for webmasters via Safe Browsing to help pinpoint harmful content on websites.

Menlo Technologies is a global services company specializing in cloud integration, data analytics and mobile technology that will transform the way you do business.