An­droid Nougat launched

Google’s lat­est mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem is here. Marie Brewis looks at what you can ex­pect

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Com­pat­i­ble Google de­vices

On the day of its re­lease, the An­droid blog talked more about the roll­out: “To­day, and over the next sev­eral weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and Gen­eral Mo­bile 4G (An­droid One) will get an over the air soft­ware up­date to An­droid 7.0 Nougat. Any de­vices en­rolled in the An­droid Beta Pro­gram will also re­ceive this fi­nal ver­sion.”

It went on to say that the LG V20 (see page 16) will be the first An­droid phone to ship with Nougat out of the box, which is an­other sur­prise, since many were ex­pect­ing the new op­er­at­ing sys­tem to be the first pre­in­stalled on the new Nexus 5 and 6 phones for 2016.

If you have a re­cent flag­ship phone or tablet from a well-known maker such as Sony, Sam­sung, HTC or Mo­torola, it’s likely you’ll see the up­date rolled out within the first few months of 2017. How­ever, be­fore you can get the up­date both the hard­ware man­u­fac­turer and mo­bile op­er­a­tor must be ready to roll it out, which can slow down things.

Sony has al­ready con­firmed that its most re­cent Xpe­ria de­vices will get Nougat, in­clud­ing the Z3+, Z4 Tablet, Z5 series and X series. How­ever, the Z2 and Z3 series will not re­ceive An­droid Nougat.

HTC has also con­firmed which de­vices will get Nougat, quot­ing the HTC One A9, HTC One M9 and HTC 10. It has a 90-day guar­an­tee, which means those de­vices should get An­droid N in Q4.

It’s telling that even a year and a half af­ter its re­lease, Lol­lipop has only re­cently be­come the most pop­u­lar An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tems. Of­ten only the most re­cent flag­ships get an up­date to new An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tems, and even then noth­ing is guar­an­teed. With thou­sands of peo­ple still us­ing An­droid phones that are en­try-level mod­els, from less well-known man­u­fac­tur­ers or sim­ply old, there are still peo­ple out there run­ning Froyo and Gin­ger­bread .

On 1 Au­gust 2016, An­droid De­vel­op­ers pub­lished the fol­low­ing break­down of the mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem’s plat­form adop­tion:

Froyo: An­droid 2.2 to 2.2.3, 0.1 per­cent Gin­ger­bread: An­droid 2.3 to 2.3.7, 1.7 per­cent Ice Cream Sand­wich: An­droid 4 to 4.0.4, 1.6 per­cent Jelly Bean: An­droid 4.1 to 4.3.1, 16.7 per­cent KitKat: An­droid 4.4 to 4.4.4, 29.2 per­cent Lol­lipop: An­droid 5.0 to 5.1.1, 35.5 per­cent Marsh­mal­low: An­droid 6.0 to 6.0.1, 15.2 per­cent

New fea­tures

Per­for­mance For per­for­mance Google is fo­cus­ing on graph­ics and run­time in An­droid Nougat. It has in­tro­duced the new Vulkan 3D graph­ics API, which has a much lower CPU over­head than OpenGL and al­lows de­vel­op­ers to squeeze much more graph­i­cal de­tail into frames. It’s also in­tro­duc­ing the JTI Com­piler, which speeds up app in­stalls by 75 per­cent and re­duces the com­piled code size by 50 per­cent.

There are also new plat­form fea­tures aimed at op­ti­mis­ing bat­tery and mem­ory con­sump­tion, such as Doze and the new back­ground op­ti­mi­sa­tions.

Se­cu­rity For se­cu­rity An­droid Nougat in­tro­duces file-based en­cryp­tion, me­dia frame­work hard­en­ing and seam­less up­dates. The lat­ter means new up­dates to the op­er­at­ing sys­tem will be down­loaded silently in the back­ground, ready to use on the next restart. Un­for­tu­nately, seam­less up­dates are likely to be avail­able only on phones sold run­ning An­droid Nougat out of the box – it works by each phone hav­ing two sys­tem im­ages, and one is up­dated in the back­ground while you use the other. To­day’s

phones, of course, have only one sys­tem im­age. ZDNet has also re­ported how An­droid Nougat will stop pass­word-re­set ran­somware, stat­ing that: “The new op­er­at­ing sys­tem will no longer al­low users or soft­ware to in­voke a com­mand that clears al­ready-set pass­words.” How­ever, in or­der to pro­tect your de­vice it notes that you will need to set a pass­word in the first place.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity The most ex­cit­ing area for con­sumers is pro­duc­tiv­ity. We’ve al­ready heard about An­droid Nougat’s new Di­rect Re­ply fea­ture, which al­lows you to di­rectly re­ply to mes­sages, emails and more

from the no­ti­fi­ca­tion bar, and now we’ll be able to change a no­ti­fi­ca­tion’s vis­i­bil­ity by long-tap­ping it and se­lect­ing an op­tion.

When we do re­ply to a mes­sage there are loads of new emoji at our fin­ger­tips. The pro­fes­sional women emoji that leaked be­fore the OS’s launch are among 72 new Uni­code nine emoji glyphs, which are more re­al­is­tic and sup­port dif­fer­ent skin tones. Google has also re­designed the nav­i­ga­tion but­tons, which are an­i­mated and change their colour when long-pressed.

Even bet­ter are the new multi-task­ing im­prove­ments. Google has fi­nally added a Clear all but­ton to the top of the re­cent apps menu, and it has re­duced the num­ber of apps shown here by au­to­mat­i­cally re­mov­ing those you haven’t used in a while. You will also be able to switch back and forth be­tween your cur­rent and last-used app with a dou­ble-tap of the re­cents but­ton.

Multi-win­dow is a fea­ture we’ve seen pre­vi­ously on Sam­sung phones, and it’s fi­nally go­ing to be built into the An­droid OS. There are two vari­a­tions – Split Screen and Pic­ture in Pic­ture – with the first de­signed for phones and tablets and the lat­ter for An­droid TVs. You can long-tap the re­cents but­ton to se­lect a sec­ond app to dis­play on­screen.

The fi­nal new fea­ture is Day­dream, which is Google’s new VR plat­form. Al­though it is pro­duc­ing a ded­i­cated Day­dream head­set, it is also build­ing sup­port for a VR Mode into N that sup­ports low la­tency (un­der 20ms) and a VR sys­tem UI. It will mean hun­dreds of Day­dream-ready phones will be avail­able, with the first com­ing later this year from the likes of Sam­sung, HTC and LG.

Other new fea­tures in­clude:

Bun­dled no­ti­fi­ca­tions: mul­ti­ple no­ti­fi­ca­tions from the same app can be grouped to­gether. Ef­fi­ciency: Doze now also saves bat­tery when­ever the screen is turned off. Im­proved Java & lan­guage sup­port: Java 8 lan­guage fea­tures are com­ing to An­droid.

The Google Key­board app in Google Play has now been up­dated to the An­droid Nougat ver­sion. There are new emoji, new coloured themes, new back­ground im­ages and a new key­board tog­gler.

Will Nougat use Swift?

Nope. There are ru­mours that a fu­ture ver­sion of An­droid will go some way to re­place Java with open-source Swift as its first-class lan­guage, but it won’t be Nougat, since it will re­quire a lot of re-writ­ing of An­droid’s core code. Ac­cord­ing to The Next Web, the OS would first need a run­time for Swift, to make its en­tire stan­dard li­brary Swift-ready, to sup­port the lan­guage in APIs and SDKs, and to re-write some low-level C++ APIs and high-level Java APIs, which Swift can not cur­rently bridge to.

Nexus 6P

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.