Red alert, Nexus owners: Google has announced it’s begun rolling out Android 7.0—that’s yummy, decadent Android Nougat—via over-the-air updates. The first devices to get the new operating system will be the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Nexus 6 phones, as well as the Nexus 9 and Pixel C tablets.
The new OS will also arrive on the Nexus Player media streamer, as well as the General Mobile 4G—that’s the Android One phone sold in Europe. Like all new Android releases, expect the Nougat roll-out to take a few weeks, with some carriers moving more quickly than others.
Top-line Nougat features include a new multi-window mode for app multitasking; better control over Quick Settings and recent apps; direct reply in notifications; and 72 new emoji. (Don’t lie: You come for the multitasking, but stay for the emoji).
There are also some behind-the-scenes improvements for power management, gaming performance, and security. You can learn more here on Google’s Nougat page; Google says there are more than 250 improvements. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite new features. Also make sure to check out our take on the six Nougat features to try first.
We’re told there are no “big differences” between the upcoming public release of Nougat and the last Developer Preview of Nougat that may already be loaded on your Nexus device. And, in fact, if you’re running the Developer Preview, it will automatically receive the OTA update.
If you’re not currently using one of the latest Nexus phones and don’t have any plans to buy one, you can consider waiting for LG’s V20, which arrives this September with Android Nougat built right in. The V20, slated for its official reveal on September 6, will feature dual front-facing cameras (for varying fields of view), manual video controls, and a 32-bit digital-to-analog audio converter.
But for now, Android Nougat is all about Nexus devices. That’s just how the Android universe works.
The impact on you: This is why you buy Nexus devices—to get Google’s latest version of Android before all the poor saps stuck with Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony phones. And if you don’t have a Nexus phone, then be prepared to wait months and months—or never—to enjoy all the new Nougat features. We keep a list of the most current information about when prominent phones are going to get Android Nougat.
The side-by-side app multitasking will be especially useful on Google’s Pixel C tablet, but I’m excited to try this on my 5.7-inch Nexus 6P as well. Beyond that, Nougat is packed with a bunch of little quality-of-life features, like the ability to toggle between your two most recently used apps with a double-tap of the Overview button, and customization control over which settings appear in your Quick Settings Menu.