I love nougat. Especially the crunchy kind. It’s one of those things one has to bring back from a holiday trip to Australia. So although it sounds silly that there should be any connection, I did look forward to enjoying Android 7.0 Nougat. Well, if you have the LG V20, or a supported Nexus device, Google’s latest mobile operating system is here.
There’s not a whole lot that’s terribly exciting with Nougat though. The first thing that most people will observe is the change to the notification window. Not only do notifications now take up the entire width of the screen, you get to act on them directly in the notification window.
You could already reply to Hangout messages previously, but the new Direct Reply Notifications is now opened up so it can be used by 3rd party applications such as WhatsApp.
Multiple notifications from the same app are now also automatically grouped together.
Another significant visual change is in the quick settings menu. It’s in the notification shade you pull down from the top of the screen. Previously, you needed to pull down the notification shade twice, or use two fingers to pull down, to get at the quick settings. Now, a couple of quick settings toggles are immediately available when the notification shade is pulled down.
There’s still no settings toggle for NFC. I would have liked that, to have NFC turned on only when I need it. Some people might be concerned about Android Pay being too easily accessible via NFC, though of course you still need to unlock your phone for Android Pay to work, but it would certainly be an added security to have NFC not turned on by default, but yet make it easy to toggle it on whenever you need it.
For the stuff under the hood, there’s the new an improved Doze Mode 2.0. An enhancement over Marshmallow’s Doze Mode, Nougat now limits background tasks whenever the screen is turned off. Previously, Doze Mode activates only when the device is stationary, which means it doesn’t sleep enough when, say, you leave your device in your pocket or bag.
Another under the hood enhancement is the new Vulkan API that gives games more direct control over the device GPU. This basically results in better graphics, with smoother and faster performance for games.
Then, there’re some routine improvements to the JIT compiler, promising better performance in general.
The real sign that there’s nothing really that great about Android 7.0 Nougat? Well, it brings 72 new emoji. Oh wow. But, maybe, it is really important seeing that even iOS 10 features new emojis.