Google begins offering tasty Android Nougat to Nexus devices

Android development at Google has been going on at a steady clip. The computing giant has begun the rollout of Android 7.0, codename Nougat, to recent Nexus devices worldwide.

Google calls Nougat the "sweetest release yet," so here's a quick run-down of how it will improve the taste of your mobile experience. Both performance and battery life should prove superior in comparison to Marshmallow, thanks to under-the-hood improvements. Multi-tasking support is now an official OS feature, and supports both windows and split-screen modes. Android's notifications and Quick Settings panels are top-notch already, and Google saw it fit to improve them further still.

The new Display Size feature is rather neat: it tells the OS to visually scale everything to the user's taste—not just text. On the gaming front, there's now Vulkan support on tap, as well as the VR-oriented Daydream software platform. If you use your Android device for business purposes, though, you'll be happy to learn about the new Google for Work features. On the technical side, there's a new JIT compiler, seamless OS updates thanks to a dual-partition scheme, and file-based encryption. Oh, before we forget, there's a ton of new emojis. Very important.

 

Users of Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices can enjoy the tasty Nougat right away with a simple over-the-air update. However, Google seems to be following the quick deprecation path treaded by its partner OEMs by dropping support for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices. Neither of those has yet had its third birthday, and to our eyes this seems a questionable move, especially considering that Apple's upcoming iOS 10 will support devices as old as the iPhone 5, which came out in September 2012.

 

On a more positive note, Google says that it is "moving Nougat into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters." Hopefully this can translate into more frequent updates. Reviews of the new operating system are already circling around the internet, too, and the overall feedback is positive.

 

However, there's a huge mechanical elephant in the room. As of today, only 15.2% of Android devices worldwide are running Android 6.0, thanks to OEMs and carriers' unwillingness to offer software updates to any device that's older than, uh, about 24 hours. Android Nougat's release doesn't seem likely to improve this situation.

Comments closed
    • swaaye
    • 3 years ago

    My guess is 7.0.1 or 7.1.0 will be the one you actually want to have.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    Simply put, google needs to put mandates on its software partners. They are poisoning the android well right now.

    Irregularity of OS design, performance issues, security problems, all resulting from the “custom” overlay stuff is a constant force driving people to apple. When they move from one phone to another the OS is so different its really hard to re-learn.

      • sweatshopking
      • 3 years ago

      That why android continues to gain marketshare?

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 3 years ago

    I didn’t see my old Moto G Gen 2 on the list!

      • willmore
      • 3 years ago

      Motorola just seems to have decided never to update anything anymore. 2rd gen moto E? Promised updates. Never delivered any. And now Lenovo own them so don’t expect anything better from them. ;(

    • maxxcool
    • 3 years ago

    Sweet my 5x eagerly awaits!

    • MetricT
    • 3 years ago

    Does Nougat fix the “feature” where they intentionally disabled Miracast support on Nexus phones, just to push Chromecast? We just installed a large display that’s on a /8 wireless subnet (large university), and Chromecast only works on a /24. The display was specifically chosen (not by me) for its built-in screen mirroring via Miracast, so faculty and students could share their screen.

    Imagine how “happy” I was to discover that my Nexus 5X, which I purchased so I could get the best Android experience possible, couldn’t connect, while my co-worker’s Samsung Androids worked just fine. Take that rage, put it in front of the Hubble telescope, and that’s how I feel about Google right now. “Don’t Be Evil” my ass.

      • Pwnstar
      • 3 years ago

      The “Don’t be evil” thing was always a con.

      It’s good PR, though.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 3 years ago

    My Nexus 5 is left in the cold. So sad. Hopefully the wonderful xda-devs will come up with a Nougat ROM to load on it whilst I wait to see what my next phone is (probably an LG V20 or Nexus Sailfish, at a guess).

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 3 years ago

      The N5 is due an update IIRC.

      Edit: Nope I can’t read apparently. Sadness.

      • tsk
      • 3 years ago

      I hope my nexus 5 will last me another year, it will be interesting to see how long Google gives it security patches.

      • AnotherReader
      • 3 years ago

      As a Nexus 5 owner, I am hesitant to buy another Android device. I may go with Apple (shudder) or MS when the [url=http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/08/android-nougat-drops-support-for-nexus-5-and-2013-nexus-7/<]security updates cease after October[/url<].

        • sweatshopking
        • 3 years ago

        Surface phone….

          • AnotherReader
          • 3 years ago

          All joking aside, I am impressed by my wife’s Lumia 520; for a device with such low-end hardware, it has impressive responsiveness and battery life.

            • sweatshopking
            • 3 years ago

            That’s literally the worst, but best selling, lumia ever made. They’re generally solid, but apps aren’t as plenty for those who use them.

            • AnotherReader
            • 3 years ago

            Whatsapp and Viber work fine on it and that’s enough for my wife. Internet Explorer also works surprisingly well. I wouldn’t want one, but I can see the appeal for those who do use it.

    • DrCR
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]thanks to OEMs and carriers' unwillingness to offer software updates to any device that's older than, uh, about 24 hours[/quote<] Zing! Thanks for the lulz.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, haha.

      Anyone buying a non-Nexus android has to really weigh up the unique features their alternative vendor of choice is offering in exchange for software updates on any kind of sensible schedule.

      In the case of my Droid 2 Turbo, it was a massive battery and shatterproof screen. I still miss my Nexus a little bit though :'(

      • EndlessWaves
      • 3 years ago

      It’s really not funny any more.

        • Zizy
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah I guess it isn’t if you are on Android 😛
        But the remaining 15% of the world can still laugh about that.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          I was going to say that number is higher than reality because a disproportionate percentage of iPhone users replace their phone every year because they have to have the latest devices or face ridicule in their elitist circles – I was looking for the report I read that had actual usage statistics rather than volumes shipped that proves this but I can’t find the link.

          AndroidAuthority has figures for Q2 2016 and they put Android at 86.2% with the pre-iPhone7 slump expected to make it to more than 88% for Q3 2016. Add 1% for the Blackberry/Windows/Other category and Apple’s share is getting pretty close to single digit figures for the first time.

    • DataMeister
    • 3 years ago

    I think with hardware advancements in phones starting to slow down a bit, Google is going to need to start considering a 4 year support cycle instead of 2 years. It’s nonsense to throw away good phone hardware because they didn’t bother to bring the drivers over with the new OS.

    Maybe Google is waiting for all phones to have finger print readers or something before they consider it to be a “stabilized” market, but, it just seems crazy when you compare it to the desktop PC world where you can run the latest Windows or Linux OS on 10 year old hardware.

      • sweatshopking
      • 3 years ago

      Windows 10 runs on the four year old lumia 920.

        • Zizy
        • 3 years ago

        But not on the better and newer Lumia 1020.
        MS = bunch of morons.

          • sweatshopking
          • 3 years ago

          It runs on 1020. Running it on my dads.
          Any windows 8 device with 8Gb of internal storage can run it

      • bfar
      • 3 years ago

      I agree, two years is too short for the nexus family. This is the only area where nexus phones fall miles behind apple.

      • Firestarter
      • 3 years ago

      They should have started with the Nexus 5, it’s still a very capable phone and most owners have no reason to upgrade to a new phone other than just wanting something shinier and newer with better specs. I think the same was sort of true for the Nexus 4 when Marshmallow was released, but with the Nexus 5 it’s a lot more obvious IMO and a bigger slap in the face of the people who still use theirs

      I never expected my slightly newer LG G3 to be upgraded to Nougat but LG is not Google and the G3 is not a Nexus, and I think Google should definitely be held to a higher standard if only to persuade the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG etc. to keep their phones out of the landfill a little bit longer

    • NTMBK
    • 3 years ago

    Pour one out for the Nexus 7. Perfect blend of price, form factor and functionality. We may never see its like again.

      • klrcommute
      • 3 years ago

      Is it at least supposed to continue with security updates on 6.0.1 Marshmallow or whatnot for the next year or so? It’s been a good little tablet for ~$200. I guess we’ll see what XDA does with it going forward.

      Sailfish and Google Fi all the way–couple more months to pull the trigger.

    • DancinJack
    • 3 years ago

    weeeeeeee I already got the update (and installed it) on my 6P.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 3 years ago

      Same!

      Is it just me or is 7.0 smoking fast?

        • Pwnstar
        • 3 years ago

        Not just you!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    edit 2: I think you mean Nexus 7 here rather than 9:

    [quote<]dropping support for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 9 devices[/quote<]

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Fixed, thanks!

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    Got my OnePlus 3 at the beginning of July and have had 3 updates since then, so hoping to bite into Nougat within just a few months.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]just a few months[/quote<] This should make you really angry.

        • demani
        • 3 years ago

        Only in comparison to Nexus and iPhones. Next to everyone else it’s pretty damn good.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          I mean, everyone with an Android phone that’s not a Nexus should be upset that it takes months to get an OS to run on what is at this point pretty similar hardware from one phone to the next.

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            Yes, but, at the same time, those people should have bought a Nexus.

            • sweatshopking
            • 3 years ago

            Yeah. Sub par hardware or sub par software. Can’t have both in android land.

            • DataMeister
            • 3 years ago

            And especially this time around since they had the preview out for a few months.

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